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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Acid law set for debate as man faces arrest for attack

Acid law set for debate as man faces arrest for attack

A long-awaited draft law set to regulate the use of acid in the Kingdom will be debated in the National Assembly next month, an official said, on the same day as district police in Kampong Cham province arrested a man who allegedly doused a woman in acid early yesterday morning.

Senior Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker, Cheam Yeap, told the Post yesterday that the draft acid law was sent to the National Assembly earlier this month and the Assembly would open a session in order to approve the law in October.

The legislation, which also aims to punish the perpetrators of acid attacks, was approved by the Council of Ministers late last month.

Also yesterday , Ponhea Krek district police chief in Kampong Cham province, Prack Bun Nun, said that a 19-year-old suspect was arrested after he allegedly threw acid on 50-year-old Kong Touch as she walked to her job at a rubber plantation.

“The suspect ambushed her and poured acid on her face and body,” he said. “I will prepare the documents and send the suspect to provincial police [today].”

Prack Bun Nun claimed the attack occurred because the suspect had filed a complaint demanding four million riel (US$979) from Kong Touch’s nephew following a dispute last year, but Kong Touch had paid the suspect only 500,000 riel ($122) on behalf of her nephew.

He added that there had been two acid attacks in the district so far this year.

Kong Touch’s daughter Sann Maly, 20, said yesterday that she had filed a complaint to police.

“I don’t demand any money from the suspect, but I demand the police and the court give him a life sentence because he had the intention to kill my mother,” she said. “I really pity my mother. She must hurt very much from her injuries.”

Horng Lairapo, chief of the medical and legal unit at the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity, said yesterday that Kong Touch had received burns to her face, chest and body.

“[She is] still in emergency at Kampong Cham hospital,” he said, adding that acid was accessible in Kampong Cham because of its use in the rubber industry.

Horng Lairapo added that according to figures recorded by CASC, 21 people had been injured in acid attacks and accidents so far this year.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MARY KOZLOVSKI

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