Cambodian Center for Human Rights CCHR Press Release - Phnom Penh, 25 June 2012
The following press release appeared on the sithi.org. website on 29th Jue 2012
‘The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (“CCHR”), a non-aligned, independent, non-governmental organization (“NGO”) that works to promote and protect democracy and respect for human rights throughout Cambodia, today – 25 June 2012 – publishes our “Map of Acid Attacks 2009-2012” .
The map outlines cases of acid attacks occurring throughout the country between 2009 and June 2012 according to the province the attack occurred. Each attack outlined on the map is accompanied by a case summary. The information presented was gathered from news media in Khmer or English.
The study conducted by CCHR found a total of 35 cases of acid violence reported in the media during this period, with a total of 59 victims: 34 of whom were female, 23 male while the gender of the remaining two victims was unspecified in the sources relied upon.
Over half of the cases presented in the study occurred in Phnom Penh (54.28%) whereas almost a quarter took place in the province of Kampong Cham (22.86%). A culture of silence surrounds acid violence in Cambodia as victims are often perceived as having done something wrong and are viewed by many as having deserved to be the victims of these heinous crimes. Consequently, victims often do not report the crimes to the authorities. It is considered by experts that the “dark number” – the number of unreported cases of acid violence occurring in Cambodia – could be equal to the number of cases that are reported.
The cases presented on the map therefore by no means represent the total number of acid attacks that occurred in the country during the reporting period. CCHR is extremely grateful to the Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity who provided us with the statistics on the number of attacks they recorded during the reporting period, a number which exceeds the number of cases recorded by CCHR. These statistics are outlined in a graph and compared with the number of attacks recorded by CCHR yearto-year. These cases are not included in the map as there are no accompanying case summaries. It should be noted however that it is likely that even the statistics provided by CASC do not fully represent the extent of acid violence in Cambodia.
The Map of Acid Attacks 2009-2012is hosted by the award-winning CCHR-hosted Cambodia Human Rights Portal at http://sithi.org/temp.php?url=acid_case.php.
Sorn Ramana, Project Coordinator of the Research and Advocacy Project to End Acid Violence in Cambodia, commented on the launch of the map, as follows:
“In order to ensure that victims of acid violence receive the medical treatment they need and the respect they deserve and to ensure that perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to justice, the culture of silence surrounding acid violence must be shattered. The information presented on the map by no means takes into account the number of attacks that have occurred in the country over the last few years. By publishing this information however, we hope to raise awareness of acid violence and contribute to changing public perceptions of acid victims so that they are empowered to
report their crimes and so that those responsible can be tried and convicted.”’
If you would like to see this press release in its original content with maps and graphs please go to sithi.org website.
Posted on July 02nd 2012 by Office in ASTI news