Thursday, 20 January 2011

Three arrested after Cambodia acid attack: police

via CAAI


PHNOM PENH - Three people have been arrested for an attack in which two women were splashed with acid, in the country's first such incident of the year, police said Wednesday.

One of the victims, a 27-year-old garment worker, remains in hospital with serious burns to her face, eyes and body, said Kong Sam Orn, a deputy police chief of Phnom Penh's Meanchey district.

The other woman, the driver of the motorcycle on which the two were riding at the time of the attack, suffered leg and arm injuries.

Police said Tuesday's attack was carried out by two brothers and came just one day after the older sibling's wife had a work-related argument with the 27-year-old victim.

"The attack stemmed from the dispute," Kong Sam Orn said, adding that police believed the wife, who was also arrested, had masterminded the crime.

Acid attacks are a common form of revenge in Cambodia where corrosive liquid is easily and cheaply available and attackers are rarely brought to justice.

In an effort to curb the violence, the Cambodian government has drafted legislation that would regulate sales of acid and impose harsher sentences on perpetrators.

Under the new law, expected to be approved later this year, attackers could face 20 years to life in prison.

While there are no official statistics, the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC) recorded 19 attacks in 2010, which injured more than 30 people.

"Just a handful of those cases resulted in arrests," said CASC programme manager Chhun Sophea.

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