Murder, Rape, Robbery All Down in 2007: Ministry

The amount of major crime across the nation dropped in 2007, according to a report issued Wed­nes­day by the Interior Ministry, leaving some local rights groups won­dering where the ministry got its numbers.

According to the Ministry of In­terior’s annual report, murder ca­ses decreased from 458 in 2006 to 408 in 2007; rape cases decreased from 262 to 250, and armed robberies decreased from 713 to 641.

Speaking at the Interior Ministry during the launch of the report, ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak attributed the decreases to police crack­downs and an increase in police officers.

However, rights groups Licadho and Adhoc questioned the Interior Ministry’s numbers, especially in the area of rape.

“From year to year, rape cases increased,” Licadho President Kek Galabru said by telephone. “Hu­man rights organizations are more reliable when reporting about this abuse.”

Adhoc President Thun Saray said the Interior Ministry’s numbers were incorrect because victims often accept unrecorded compensation for crimes.

“The ministry is not aware of com­pensation made at local authority [levels] between suspects and the victims,” he said.

Mok Chito, director of the In­ter­ior Ministry’s Penal Police Depart­ment, dismissed claims that his ministry’s numbers were inaccurate and accused the rights groups of doctoring their own numbers to garner more donations.

“They try to increase the number of human rights violations so they can get more funds,” he said by telephone.

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