Malaysian law enforcement officials are currently investigating allegations that a 15-year-old girl was raped by 38 men in an abandoned hut. According to Reuters, 13 men have already been detained in connection with the incident as police continue their search.
The attack allegedly took place in the state of Kelantan on May 20, after the girl was taken to the location by her 17-year-old friend. The abandoned hut is apparently known for its drug connections, and many of the 13 individuals arrested tested positive for amphetamine.
District police chief Azham Otham cited drug use as a major cause for the sexual abuse that has occurred in the region.
“We have reason to believe that almost all the suspects were high on drugs when they allegedly committed the crime,” said Otham, according to The Star, “In the Kota Baru district alone, there is an average of 16 rape cases a month, the majority of which involve the underaged. We believe this is connected with the use of pil kuda (amphetamine) among drug addicts and rampant cross-border drug trafficking between Malaysia and Thailand.”
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Police are also “suspicious” of the 17-year-old girl (pictured above) who led her friend to the hut, particularly because the girl did not report the incident.
If convicted, the individuals responsible for the rape could face up to 30 years in prison and whipping. Malaysia has increased its protections of women's rights throughout the past several years but elements of sharia law still limit the rights of female citizens in the country compared to other nations.