Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mass arrests over mob beating in capital

Mass arrests over mob beating in capital

People tend to a man who was severely beaten by a group of people late on Wednesday night after an altercation broke out in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district.
People tend to a man who was severely beaten by a group of people late on Wednesday night after an altercation broke out in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district. Photo supplied

Mass arrests over mob beating in capital

Phnom Penh police on Wednesday night arrested more than two dozen suspects following a vicious mob beating that nearly killed a man in Meanchey district and saw more than 50 military police officers respond to the scene.

The 28 arrested are workers at the Ci Hu Hui ceramic tiles warehouse, police said yesterday. Their victim, 24-year-old Reth Thorn, who lives in a rental house near the warehouse, was in serious condition when he arrived at Calmette Hospital, they added.

“The victim’s condition is very serious right now,” said Or Kim San, secretary of the capital’s military police. “The group beat him attempting to kill him. Luckily, he survived and was sent to the hospital on time with the help from the neighbours.”

But interviews with the victim, suspects and witnesses offered conflicting accounts of the attack.

According to Thorn, the warehouse workers were drinking and dancing near his apartment. Angry at the noise, he emerged and got into an altercation with the revellers, which quickly escalated into an uneven fight in which suspects allegedly used a “sword” and an iron rod to beat and slash him.

The suspects then locked themselves in the warehouse following the attack, necessitating the call for heavy reinforcements, who broke into the building and made the arrests.

Several residents, who had initially called police to the scene, offered a similar version of events.

But the suspected workers had a different story. They claimed that Thorn was one of a group of 10 people that had earlier beaten up two of their own, who then ran to the warehouse for help.

According to the suspects, 16 of them came out of the warehouse armed with iron pipes, knives and other tools to fight their assailants, only to see nine of the attackers run off, leaving Thorn to suffer the consequences alone. Twelve warehouse workers never left the premises, the suspects said.

“This is the claim brought by the suspects; when they fought back, the other group ran away, leaving the victim alone,” said Kim San.

Police said they were still investigating and had not yet reached any conclusion.

A Calmette Hospital staffer said yesterday a man matching Thorn’s description was admitted on Wednesday night but she declined to name him.

The staffer said the patient had been moved out of the hospital’s emergency unit earlier yesterday, meaning that his condition has improved. A doctor who treated the victim was unavailable for comment.

Additional reporting by Igor Kossov

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all