Police in Phnom Penh’s Dankao district said yesterday that they are searching for multiple suspects accused of gang-raping a 28-year-old woman early Sunday morning.
The victim claims that she was raped on her way home from a wedding in Phnom Penh at about 1 am on Sunday, according to Dangkao district deputy police chief Chuop Sok Heng.
“She told our police she was accosted by two men in front of her Kambol commune home, in Tuol village, and then they threatened to kill her if she did not remain quiet,” Mr Sok Heng said. “She was then forced into an isolated open field, where they raped her while three others looked on.” He added that when the three accomplices attempted to rape her after the first two had finished, the victim was able to make an escape.
Phan Phoeun, Kambol commune police chief, said the police have interviewed the victim but have not been able to uncover the suspects’ identities. “The victim is too frightened right now to tell us who did this,” he said. “We will try to speak with her again once she is not so much in shock, at which point it will be easy for police to identify the suspects.”
Currently, the victim is recuperating in her Kambol commune home under the care of family and friends, Mr Phoeun said.
Human rights group Licadho said it is working with the authorities in order to conclude the investigation swiftly. “We are very concerned in this particular case, because gang rape scenarios inflict strong suffering on the victim, and can get worse even after,” said Am Sam Ath, technical supervisor at Licadho.
“We especially want the authorities to penalize the perpetrators according to the law, and not seek a compromise with a kind of compensation between [the attackers] and the victim,” he added
According to statistics from Adhoc, a human rights group, there were 300 rape cases in Cambodia from January to July this year, with 195 cases involving minors.