FOUR men suspected of involvement in unrelated gang rapes that took place in Kratie and Banteay Meanchey provinces last week have been detained, but a further five remain on the run, officials said Tuesday.
Kratie provincial police chief Chhoung Seng Hak said one man connected with the gang rape of a 21-year-old woman last Wednesday had been sent to provincial court.
“Police in Kratie province are searching to arrest another three men who escaped, but we know their identities already,” he said.
Provincial Adhoc coordinator Thim Narin said the incident last week was the third gang rape of the year in Kratie, and that most of the suspects in all three cases remain at large.
“Early in 2010, there were two cases of gang rape in Kratie province, but only two people were arrested while the other four escaped,” she said.
She added that Adhoc had recorded seven rape cases in Kratie province so far this year, compared with only three cases for the same period last year.
“I think the government and local authorities have to eliminate sex videos and obscene pictures, and they have to strongly punish the perpetrators – then the rape cases will decrease,” she said.
In an unrelated case, which took place in Banteay Meanchey province on the same day last week, five men allegedly raped a 26-year-old woman in Poipet town, deputy provincial military police commander Ork Borin said.
“We arrested three men, and the other two escaped,” he said. The three apprehended men had been sent to the provincial court on Sunday, he said.
“I am waiting for an arrest warrant from the court office to arrest the other two men, but I don’t know when the court will send it to me,” he said.
“Police already know their identities.”
Provincial Adhoc coordinator Soum Chankea said he did not have statistics on hand, but that he thought rape cases were increasing in that province as well.
“What the government has to do in order to reduce the rape cases in our country, is educate the students in the schools, broadcast the law and how to protect themselves, and eliminate sex videos,” he said.
According to a media analysis conducted by the Cambodian branch of End Child Prostitution, Abuse and Trafficking that was released in January, there were 322 rape cases reported in selected newspapers nationwide last year, up from 268 in 2008.