Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Mentally ill’ man gets chained up for arsons

‘Mentally ill’ man gets chained up for arsons

‘Mentally ill’ man gets chained up for arsons

A So-called mentally ill man in Kampot province has been chained up by his parents after allegedly going on an arson spree that saw him set fire to a neighbour’s house and his own, police said yesterday.

Hoy Nem, Sdech Kong Kang Choeung commune police chief, said 26-year-old Chom Khna first set fire to the neighbour’s home early on Friday morning, leaving it seriously damaged.

“Khna said he was cold and then he burned the house to warm himself,” he said.

“After he burned the villager’s house … he burned two piles of hay nearby.”

While his father attempted to put out the flames with the help of other villagers, Khna returned to his family home and also set that alight.

Luckily, Nem said, the second fire was put out quickly, leaving only minimal damage. But attempts to arrest Khna were unsuccessful.

“The man’s father and villagers reported to us that he had burned the houses so we went down in order to intervene and we tried to stop the man from doing it again.

“But we could not arrest him at the time because he had a big stone with him and threw it at us,” he explained.

According to police and family members, Khna – who was shackled by his family – remained chained up yesterday by his hand and leg.

After 10 years working as a construction worker in Phnom Penh, Khna had returned to Kampot by foot in April.

Since his return, Nem said, Khna had displayed unusual behaviour.

“We suspected that while he worked in Phnom Penh he used drugs,” he added.

Khna’s brother-in-law, Min Chab, however, said the change had been more recent and was likely not brought on by his experiences in the capital.

“He changed to a person who did not act normally last week when he burned the houses,” he said.

He added that the family plans to send Khna for treatment at a hospital in Vietnam.

The Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation (TPO), which is currently raising funds to support efforts targeted at unchaining people like Khna, said that inappropriate and destructive behaviour are often a “contributing factor to desperate family members” chaining up their loved ones.

According to TPO, a lack of access to mental health services in rural communities and a lack of awareness about mental health issues also contribute to the problem.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished