Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Arrest in Kandal rape-murder

Arrest in Kandal rape-murder

An official processes suspect Chan Thea after he was arrested on Friday for his alleged connection to a rape and murder in Kandal. Photo supplied
An official processes suspect Chan Thea after he was arrested on Friday for his alleged connection to a rape and murder in Kandal. Photo supplied

Arrest in Kandal rape-murder

A man has been arrested and is expected to be charged with aggravated murder after allegedly raping and killing a 7-year-old girl in Kandal province late last week.

Hang Chan Thea, 22, was arrested by Military Police and the Child Protection Unit in Kien Svay district’s Koki commune on Friday evening.

According to CPU Director James McCabe, Chan Thea was a neighbour of the young victim, and told police in his confession that he took her from her home on his bicycle at around 2pm last Tuesday to an abandoned compound, where he raped her. He then held her against her will for about six hours before strangling her to death and dumping her body at a nearby dam, according to the organisation.

Chan Thea confessed that he killed the victim “primarily out of fear he would be identified”, McCabe said.

The case is one of at least four rape or attempted rape cases reported by police on the weekend, an indication of the dangers that continue to face women and girls in the Kingdom, activists said.

“Even though we’ve worked a lot to raise awareness about violence against women, it’s sad that this issue is continuing,” said Ros Sopheap, the executive director of Gender and Development for Cambodia, adding that many women and girls continue to face shame for reporting sexual assaults.

In Svay Rieng province, police are investigating the rape and murder of an 18-year-old woman whose body was found in a remote rice field on Friday.

Bavet Commune Police Chief Mao Phinpirum said the woman had been strangled with a scarf and was found with her pants hanging from one leg.

He added that the woman, who lived in Tbong Khmum province, was on her way to work at a casino in Bavet town in a taxi when she went missing. Authorities are looking for the taxi driver and a possible second assailant. “We are burning hand and leg to find the perpetrators,” said Kao Horn, Bavet deputy district police chief.

In Ratanakkiri province, police are looking for a man who allegedly tried to rape a 15-year-old girl on Friday evening in Banlung district. Kachanh Commune Police Chief Suong Savuth said the girl was travelling on her motorbike when a man asked her to stop and tried to pull her into a rubber plantation. “She escaped from him and called for help,” Savuth said. “She was able to escape because she confronted him and she was strong.”
The girl is currently at the hospital for treatment, Savuth said.

Meanwhile, in Phnom Penh, commune police arrested 33-year-old Pen Sophorn for allegedly attempting to rape a 21-year-old woman in Phnom Penh Thmey commune in Sen Sok district on Saturday. According to the National Police, Sophorn unbuttoned the victim’s pants and threatened the woman, but she escaped after a struggle.

Hun Boramey, country director of ActionAid, said the string of attacks highlighted the need for improved street lighting, increased police patrolling, better access to justice, and a change in public attitudes toward sexual violence.

“We need to shift the blame.

Women are often blamed for every sexual assault they’ve experienced,” Hun said. “What we can say is that the conversation around sexual assault is growing, which is a positive sign that the issue is being paid more attention.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy lands in Malaysia

    Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said on Saturday that Cambodia respected

  • Touch: Rainsy will never return

    Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has claimed it has achieved 70 per cent of its struggle to find a solution to the current political situation in the Kingdom. Just before boarding a plane at Charles de Gaulle

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand

  • MEPs' call for Rainsy's safety not European Parliament position

    The European Parliament said on Friday that a statement by 56 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) calling for guarantees of Sam Rainsy’s freedom and safety should he return to Cambodia did not represent its position. Delphine Colard, the European Parliament’s press officer told

  • Sar Kheng: Rainsy return not blocked

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng clarified that Cambodia had never blocked Sam Rainsy from returning to the Kingdom. However, he said Cambodia reserved the right to take legal action as allowed by law against activities aimed at destroying the Kingdom. “No one blocked the return

  • Cambodia celebrates 66th Independence Day

    Cambodia on Saturday celebrated Independence Day to mark the end of French colonial rule under the leadership of King Father Norodom Sihanouk in 1953. Thousands of people from all walks of life watched King Norodom Sihamoni light the victory flame at Independence Monument to mark the 66