Suspect in acid attack questioned, released

A woman accused of throwing acid on a mother as she slept with her two daughters, injuring all three in the process, was released yesterday after being questioned at Kompong Cham Provincial Court, said Chan Hor, deputy chief of the provincial police.

“The suspect was questioned and released under court supervision. Court officials are investigating,” Mr Hor said yesterday, adding that the suspect, 25-year-old Oun Sreymab, had yet to be charged.

Ms Sreymab was arrested on Monday in Choeung Prey district’s Kouk Rovieng commune after allegedly dousing Chory Theary, 21, with a half liter of acid while she was sleeping Sunday night, said Heng Vuthy, district police chief. Ms Theary’s two daughters, aged 2 and 6, were accidentally splashed with the acid, as was the suspect, who suffered light injuries, he added.

“This is jealousy between the woman who had a secret love affair with the suspect’s husband a long time ago,” Mr Vuthy said. The suspect had bought the acid from a market vendor, he added.

The injuries to the bodies of the victims were minor because the acid used in the attack was “somewhat diluted,” said Ziad Samman, project manager for the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity, which is paying for the victims’ medical treatment.

But Mr Samman added that the two-year-old girl had sustained burns to her left eye, the seriousness of which remained unclear. The six year-old girl “received superficial burns on her face.”

CASC has recorded 18 acid attacks and four accidents so far this year, nearly all of which were in the capital or Kompong Cham province. Mr Samman said reporting may be better in these areas, but he also pointed to the availability of acid in Kampong Cham province, where it is used in the rubber industry.

A draft of an acid attack law should be finished by the end of the month, after which it will be forwarded to the Council of Ministers for review, said Ouk Kimlek, undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Interior. The draft provides for life in prison if “suspects commit cruel cases,” he added.


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