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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Acid draft law inches forward

Acid draft law inches forward

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Acid-attack survivor Hov Srey Neang, 24, receives physical therapy at the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity.

A draft law regulating the use of acid might be approved as early as next month, officials said ahead of tomorrow’s debate in the National Assembly, as an organisation working with acid survivors continued to pursue discuss-ions about the proposed legislation with officials.

“I and the members who created the draft will be at the National Assembly on November 3 in order to debate the law,” said Ouk Kimlek, under-secretary of state at the Interior Ministry and deputy director of a committee tasked with drafting the legislation.

He said he was unsure whether relevant organisations would be invited to attend.

“I think it will not take a long time to complete this law for use nationwide. It might be in December if we can complete our debate at the National Assembly on November 3.”

The proposed legislation, which is expected to increase the punishments for perpetrat-ors of acid attacks, was approved by the Council of Ministers in late August.

Horng Lairapo, chief of the medical and legal unit at the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity, said the organisation had sent a letter requesting a meeting with officials at the National Assembly last Friday to discuss certain points in the draft law, but had not yet received a reply.

“We want to discuss clearly  the points about the victims who are children, pregnant [or] blinded for their whole lives, and legislative services, medical care, examinations and social services [for victims],” he said.

CASC project manager Ziad Samman told the Post yesterday that while his organisation had not received an official reply to their meeting request, it had recently had contact with the government.

“We did have some representatives from the Ministry of Interior come to visit us [Monday], and we provided some information so it’s more up to date for them as they go into this debate,” he said.

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay said the SRP would seek clarification on how legal and social support would be provided to victims as well as how punishments would vary for those who ordered, or were accomplices to, acid attacks.

“The person who is behind the crime and the person who associate with the crime are not mentioned in this law,” he said.

According to statistics recorded by CASC, 21 people have been injured by acid so far this year, including attacks, accid-ents and one suicide attempt.

A draft law to regulate the Kingdom’s prisons will also be debated in the National Assembly tomorrow.

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