Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Acid attack brings year’s victim tally to seven

Acid attack brings year’s victim tally to seven

Acid attack brings year’s victim tally to seven

On Sunday, a goldsmith in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district became the seventh recorded victim of an acid attack this year, shining a light on the effect of the Acid Law after six months in force, rights groups said yesterday.

The 25-year-old victim, Thol Polo, was burned across his entire face and doctors are attempting to save his vision after his 51-year-old nemesis, Tang You Hout, kicked a pot of acid used for treating gold into his face, police said.

“The suspected perpetrator had a gasoline store next to the victim and wanted the victim to move his shop, because he was afraid of having a fire caused in his shop,” Dangkor district police chief Loth Khim said.

He said the victim’s family had filed a complaint with police to have the suspect sentenced under the Acid Law and requested an as-yet-unspecified amount of compensation.

“We arrested the suspect, and he said he did not have the intention to kick the acid at the victim, but that he did it without considering [the consequences],” the police chief added.

He said the incident was the first acid attack in Dangkor district since the Acid Law was passed last December, “but [police] have not been trained about the Acid Law yet because the sub-decree [for implementation] has not been signed yet.”

Horng Lairapo, medical and legal manager at the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity, said the first six months of the Acid Law’s existence had been fraught with barriers to implementation and awareness.

“Everything is very slow.The only cases that have gone to court are still in court and, mostly, acid perpetrators are free to continue to threaten their victims,” he said.

Horng Lairapo said government authorities also needed to do more to control acid and educate the Kingdom’s citizens about the new law.

“Particularly, we are concerned about the lack of understating on rubber plantations,” Lairapo said, adding there needed to be “at least one hour, once a week for a year” of public education via radio or television.

Thol Polo will begin treatment in hospital today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]
Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty