Four Kandal province men accused of gang raping two teenage women on Monday night are scheduled be transferred to provincial police custody today, officials said Wednesday.
Pao Vichhay, 20, Lok Chanto, 24, Nhiek Bunthol, 23, and Chhoeun Chea, 25, have confessed to raping the women after a dance party in Preak Thom village, Kbal Koh commune in Kien Svay district, said Maing Pich, district police chief. Three other suspects are still at large, he said.
“The two victims were attacked by seven men who are members of gangster groups,” Maing Pich said. He said the attack on the women, aged 17 and 19, took place in a mango orchard while they were on their way home.
The four men, who were arrested shortly after the incident on Monday night, were previously held at the district police headquarters.
“I am really concerned over gang rapes,” Maing Pich said. “My police officials have been working hard to crack down on gangster groups in our area.”
The number of gang rapes has steadily increased over recent years, rights workers say.
Local rights group Adhoc handled 25 reported cases of gang rapes during the first 10 months in 2005, compared to four the entire year before.
“Sometimes victims are raped by as many as nine men,” said Lim Mony, chief of Adhoc’s women section.
“Gang rapes have made many girls suffer seriously in terms of both physical and mental health problems. Some victims cannot live after being raped,” she said.
Muth Piseth, women’s rights monitor for local rights group Licadho, said her organization has also seen an increase.
“One of my clients committed suicide after she was gang-raped,” she said. “They try to commit suicide because they feel hopeless and because they dwell on their attack.”