2 Women Gang Raped in Phnom Penh

Nine men allegedly gang-raped two beer promotion workers in an isolated rice field in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district on Friday night, officials said yesterday.

Deputy Sen Sok district police chief Chev Vibol said yesterday that two suspects–Kong Sam Oeun, 26, and Suon Chanthon, 24–were arrested Saturday but the remaining seven suspects were still at large.

Mr Vibol said police would send the two suspects to court today, asking them to be charged with both rape and robbery as the two victims had their mobile telephones and motorbikes stolen after the attack.

He said the rapes occurred just before midnight on Friday night in a rice field in Phnom Penh Thmei commune.

The victims “were working in beer promotion in Dangkao district and were gang-raped several times each on Friday night in Sen Sok,” Mr Vibol said, adding that the victims were aged 21 and 28 respectively.

“We are continuing to search for some other gang rapists that are still at large,” Mr Vibol said.

Phnom Penh Thmei commune chief Keo Santhot said yesterday the alleged rapists knew the victims and had spent the afternoon drinking with them at a beer garden in Dangkao district on Friday.

“It is the first time that a gang rape has occurred in my commune, but the victims are from Dangkao district,” he said, adding that he believed two of the suspects had lured the victims to Sen Sok district to have sex before the rest of the suspects followed.

Pung Chhiv Kek, president of the human rights group Licadho, said yesterday that the gang rapes marked both a “serious human rights violation and a serious crime.”

“We hope the court will continue to investigate the case in an attempt to arrest others who were involved,” Ms Chhiv Kek said, adding that she hoped no deals were cut between police and the families of the victims and suspects.

She said she hoped the government would consider implementing programs to ensure rape victims received both medical and psychological support after being attacked.

(Additional reporting by Mark Worley)


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