Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Finding justice for women, children victims of sex crimes




Finding justice for women, children victims of sex crimes

Finding justice for women, children victims of sex crimes

In response to yesterday’s article "Provincial cop ‘still on job’ despite sentencing", Licadho commends Mr Yun Bunly for his remarkable courage and principle in pursuing the case against Korng Sophat, the police officer convicted of raping his 11-year-old daughter in 2010.

Immediately after committing the crime, Sophat offered Mr Bunly and his family a sizeable sum of money to drop the complaint against him.

Instead the family chose to pursue the case through the courts but five years later they have been woefully failed by Cambodia’s justice system with Sophat remaining free and no sign of the $10,000 compensation ordered by the court.

Such an outcome is not uncommon, particularly in cases of violence and sexual assault against women and children.

Only about a third of rape cases investigated by Licadho result in a satisfactory conviction.

The remaining cases either end before trial, with many complaints dropped in return for compensation, or result in a flawed conviction, with convictions for lesser offences and suspended sentences commonplace.

As demonstrated by this case, where the perpetrator has wealth and occupies a position of power, securing a proper conviction is almost impossible.

The courts’ failure to impose proper legal sanctions in cases of violence and sexual assault is not only extremely harmful to the victims, it also signals indifference to the issue on the part of the authorities and undermines the deterrent effect of the law.

The courts need to set an example in such cases and the government needs to make clear its condemnation of violence against women and children.

Recent developments in the cases of Sok Bun and Chhouk Bundith have given some slight cause for optimism.

We hope that they are an indication of increased willingness on the part of the government and the courts and not simply a populist stunt made possible by the high-profile nature of the cases.

We will be watching carefully and urge those who have the power to ensure that Mr Yun Bunly and his daughter, and all those like them, receive justice at last.

Naly Pilorge
Director,
Licadho

MOST VIEWED

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

    A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday following a 45-year hiatus, with the two kingdoms’ prime ministers in attendance at the ceremony. On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha travelled together from Thailand’s

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • Vietnamese land-grabbers held

    Following a provincial court order, Ratanakkiri Military Police on April 16 arrested 12 Vietnamese nationals accused of crossing the border into Cambodia and illegally clearing forest land. The accused are now being detained at Phnom Svay prison in the province. Ratanakkiri military police commander Thav Yen told