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Police searching for five suspects in gang rape of young woman

Police searching for five suspects in gang rape of young woman

Police are hunting five men who allegedly abducted and gang-raped a 20-year-old woman over a period of hours in Phnom Penh on Friday night, officials said yesterday.

Tep Vandina, deputy chief of police in Russey Keo’s Koh Dach commune, said the victim, from Kampong Cham province, was attacked near Koh Dach Port as she waited to return home after meeting her boyfriend earlier in the day.

“She walked to the bushes to urinate and was confronted by a group of men who tied her hands, covered her mouth and raped her until she was unconscious,” Vandina told the Post.

The attack lasted hours and the woman was recovering at home after being taken to hospital for treatment, he added, before declining to comment further.

Ek Serivuth, chief of the crime department in Russey Keo district, said because police were continuing to investigate the attack, he could not speak at length about potential suspects.

“We cannot talk too much about this case,” he said, adding, however, that the woman was taken to the Phnom Penh Health Centre at about 7am on Saturday morning and had since returned to Kampong Cham with her mother.

Neang Sovath, Kampong Cham provincial co-ordinator for rights group Adhoc, urged police to take tough measures against the woman’s attackers, due to the severity of the crime and the fact it involved five men.

Perpetrators of such crimes, Sovath added, often had problems with alcohol, drugs and pornography and were rarely punished due to the ineffectiveness of police and the culture of impunity that prevented the court system delivering justice to victims.

“This impunity, combined with corruption, has caused many victims to instead flee their homes to escape powerful and wealthy suspects,” he said.

Adhoc will provide legal assistance to the family in the event of arrests being made and the five men being charged and brought to trial, Sovath added.


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