Two Sisters Killed, One Raped in Kampot Province

Kampot provincial police on Sunday arrested a young man suspected of raping a 12-year-old and killing both she and her 4-year-old sister, police said Monday.

Sum Meng Hong, 22, was arrested in Toek Chhou district’s Thmei commune on Sunday shortly after the suspected rape and murder of the older girl and murder of her younger sister, both of whom were related to the suspect’s wife, police said.

The suspect allegedly lured the two children to a rice paddy near their Thmei village home saying they would look for crabs on Sunday afternoon. Drunk following an argument with his wife, the suspect allegedly proceeded to rape the 12 year old.

In Chiva, provincial deputy judicial police chief, said that when the younger sister screamed for help the suspect killed her, he then raped the older child again, then killed her as well. Both children were killed by blows to their head and body with a hoe, he said.

“It was very brutal. The villagers wanted to kill him” when they found out what he had done, Mr Chiva said.

On Sunday evening, the suspect told his relatives that he had simply found the girls dead in the rice field, Mr Chiva said, adding that when police came to investigate the double murder, they found blood on the suspects shirt and arrested him on suspicion of involvement in the killings.

According to Mr Chiva, the suspect confessed to the crime in police custody and will be sent to court today.

There have now been three rape and murder cases in Kampot province alone since the beginning of the year, Mr Chiva said.

The rape and murder of women and children has also been reported in several other provinces since the beginning of the year.

Earlier this month, a nine-year-old Kompong Speu province girl was strangled to death after being raped allegedly by her 29-year-old cousin. In January, another 9-year-old girl was found dead in Kratie–killed by a blow to the head after being raped allegedly by a 16-year-old neighbor.

National police figures as well as those of NGOs showed an overall increase in rape cases in 2009, and local rights group Adhoc reported an increase specifically in rapes of minors last year.

Sim Sorphea, Kampot provincial women’s affairs investigator for Adhoc, said Monday that she believed rape cases were not only increasing but also becoming more violent.

“In this province, rape and murder cases have increased; especially those involving minor girls. This action is very serious,” she said.

Ms Sorphea called on authorities to push for harder prosecution and avoid impunity.

“I would like the authorities to arrest all suspects for prosecution and not allow them to negotiate for compensation,” she said, referring to the longstanding practice of authorities semi-officially negotiating financial payments to victims of rape to ensure that rapists are not punished in court.

“If the authority doesn’t pay close attention, rape cases will continue to increase and grow more brutal,” Ms Sorphea warned.

 

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