Ung Dara, a former policeman, and Chan Narith, a security officer, are currently being charged for the rape of a karaoke parlor worker on October 30 of 2009. Until last week, the two men escaped justice for their crime. Their provision of $250 in compensation to the victim was believed to settle the matter outside of the courtroom. The months that passed without any criminal charges sadly reinforced that twisted notion of justice.
One week ago, on March 17, Ung Dara and Chan Narith finally stood trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court after months of delay. Sadly, the two men failed to even appear before the judge, allowing the two suspects to further escape detainment for their unconscionable act of violence. Nevertheless, the final verdict is scheduled to be given this Monday, March 28. The possible conviction of these two men could provide a very apt warning that rape and violence against women will never be tolerated regardless of the perpetrator’s background or political standing.
As part of its campaign to end violence against women, Strey Khmer will be attending the trial in support of the victim herself and in support of the advancement of justice against sexual violence. We will wear blue, representing peace, in order to make a united statement against the violence so often faced by Cambodian women. We urge anybody who wishes to stand up in support of women’s rights in Cambodia to don the same blue color and to join us at the trial on March 28. Together we will make a stand against rape and violence against women in Cambodia.
We will post the exact time of the trial once we have been informed!