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Groups Urge Prompt Acid Attack Legislation

Local rights groups on Tuesday urged the government to quickly establish a law against acid attacks, a brutal form of retribution that is common in the country.

The government has formed a committee to draft acid legislation that could include specific punishments for perpetrators but could also regulate the sale of acid, commonly used to refill car batteries.

Attacks with disfiguring acid are often undertaken by the jealous wives against the mistresses of their powerful husbands.

The attacks have “become an increasingly common form of violence in Cambodia in recent years,” according to the rights group Licadho.

Acid is “typically inexpensive and readily available on the open market” and “almost invisible to the police and the public,” the group says on it Web site.

“Thus far, law enforcement and the judiciary have done little to curtail these cruel and tragic attacks,” the group says.