Your article "Law enforcement strives for better forensics" (Post September
24), which was about how scientific facts - collecting forensic evidence - can assist
police, was spoilt by your reporter making a statement which is not supported by
any statistically valid or scientific facts.
The incidence (expressed as a number per 100,000 population) of sexual assault in
Cambodia has never been calculated and is therefore not known; it could only be described
as high if the incidence rate in Cambodia was compared with other countries. Also,
the age band 0-15 years, used by statisticians for respected organizations such as
UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFPA and WHO to denote children, has not been used by LICADHO; as
a result the LICADHO numbers are statistically useless and cannot serve as any guide
to the true incidence of sexual assault.
My guess-and it is only a guess-is that the incidence of sexual assault in Phnom
Penh is far lower than the incidence in, for example, New York, so it should make
the reader ask the question: who benefits from erroneously portraying Cambodia as
a country where "the incidence of sexual assault ... is disturbingly high"?
I know it is easier for a reporter to regurgitate what has been fed to him/her by
an NGO, but it would contribute more to society's understanding of a problem if the
reporter made an effort to research the facts and report independently with objectivity.
Sadly, I believe better forensics will not make any difference because the root problem
is corruption, corruption and corruption; corrupt government, corrupt courts, corrupt
police, corrupt NGOs and now an opportunity for corrupt doctors.
Touch Bunnil - Phnom Penh