OFFICIALS said yesterday that two suspects had been arrested after being accused of raping underage girls, one of whom was 3 years old.
Pen Bonnar, Ratanakkiri provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said a 16-year-old boy was arrested yesterday after the parents of a 14-year-old girl accused him of raping their daughter.
He said that the boy claimed to have been dating the girl, but that the girl’s parents denied this. The boy was due to appear in court today, he said.
Provincial court officials declined to comment yesterday, saying they were out of the office because of Pchum Ben.
In Kratie province, the provincial court earlier this month charged an 18-year-old student with raping a 3-year-old girl, prosecutor Chat Sou Reaksmey said yesterday.
He said Veng Chhat was arrested on September 29 and charged on October 1.
In addition, he said, the court last week charged a 25-year-old rubber plantation worker with raping an 18-year-old female student. The suspect in that case, Svay Rath, was arrested on October 6 and charged on Saturday, he said.
“We decided to charge these two people because we had enough real proof that they committed their raping activities on a child and a young girl,” he said.
Thim Narin, Kratie provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said she could not provide updated statistics on rapes in the province, but that rape was a “main concern” and that provincial officials typically recorded 40 or so each year.
“The reason why there are such things happening in this country [is] because of the fall of morality and literature, and also because of poverty and the lack of information about human trafficking and rapes,” Thim Narin said.
Am Sam Ath, a technical supervisor for the rights group Licadho, said that 200 cases of rape had been reported in the first nine months of the year, and that 176 had involved victims younger than the age of 18. Last year, Licadho recorded a total of 209 child rapes, he added.