Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministers approve acid draft

Ministers approve acid draft

Ministers approve acid draft

110829_4
A woman receives treatment for acid burns at the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, earlier this month.

A long-awaited draft acid law set to regulate the use of acid and punish the perpetrators of acid attacks in the Kingdom was approved by the Council of Ministers on Friday, officials said yesterday.

Ouk Kimlek, secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior who was tasked with drafting the law, said that under the draft legislation perpetrators of acid attacks could face life imprisonment when victims died or were seriously injured, and people who illegally sold acid or accidentally caused burns may face more lenient sentences.

“It can be difficult to implement [a law] for the first time, but before using it or implementing it we have to educate all people [about the law],” he said, adding that he was unsure when the recently-approved legislation would be sent to the National Assembly.

A statement released by the Council of Ministers on Friday said that acid attacks were a “cruel and inhumane” offence.

“[This] special law … aims to control strong acid effectively, and to jointly protect social security and social safety as well as promote the health of the people,” the statement said.

The draft legislation was initially sent to the Council of Ministers in March and currently includes six chapters and 27 articles.

Horng Lairapo, chief of the medical and legal unit at the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity, said yesterday that while punishment for the perpetrators of acid violence was crucial, the legislation must also focus on preventing acid attacks.

“We want to stop the acid violence,” he said. “If you just include the punishment, just put  people in prison, we are not preventing [acid attacks].”

Horng Lairapo added that the legislation must limit the sale of acid to relevant industries, mandate quotas for its importation and include provisions for the clear labelling of containers storing acid.

“Regular people are not allowed to carry [guns] because it’s dangerous, and acid is also like a weapon,” he said.

According to figures recorded by CASC, 20 people have been injured in acid attacks so far this year.

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

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on