RUSSEY Keo district police are searching for two suspects who attacked a 55-year-old man with acid after the man finished work at a local Coca-Cola bottling plant on Monday night, local officials said.
Son Kannareth, Russey Keo district police chief, said yesterday that the victim, Noun Bunthoeun, had been sent to Calmette Hospital after a pair of men riding a motorbike doused him with approximately half a litre of acid.
“We do not yet know the suspects’ identities, but we are investigating so that we can make arrests,” Son Kannareth said. He said that he did not know the motive for the attack.
“We tried to ask the victim if he knew the reason for the attack so we could include it in our report, but he did not tell us anything,” Son Kannareth said.
We have been deficient in broadcasting information about the law to people and warning them....
Chhun Sophea, programme manager of the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity, said the victim had suffered considerable injury.
“I went to meet the victim at the hospital and saw that he had been seriously injured on his body, head, face, ears, back, chin and legs,” she said.
She said that the victim would be transferred to CASC’s treatment facility in Kandal province today.
Chhun Sophea said that there had been 25 people injured in 20 cases of acid attacks so far this year, and she called on government officials and community leaders to raise awareness about the problem.
“We have been deficient in broadcasting information about the law to people and warning them about the serious dangers of acid,” she said.
A government committee has been tasked with drafting a law on acid crimes, though this legislation has been subject to repeated delays and has yet to be sent to the Council of Ministers.
The committee was formed in February after a spate of attacks that began late last year, and committee members originally said that they expected their draft law to be completed shortly after Khmer New Year.
A May survey of acid attack survivors by CASC found that 47 percent of victims were male, and that just 9 percent of victims believed they had been attacked as a result of extramarital affairs.
Nineteen percent of victims included in the survey said they either did not know why they were attacked or declined to specify what they believed the reason was.