Mob Violence Leads to Two Deaths in Separate Incidents

A 200-strong mob beat a 30-year-old man to death in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district on Wednesday night after locals saw him steal a phone and a wallet, police said Thursday.

The incident came a day after more than 20 construction workers fatally beat a man in Mondolkiri province after the wife of one of the laborers accused him of rape.

At about 9 p.m. on Wednesday, a group of five garment and construction workers who had been drinking behind their apartment block in Pur Senchey district’s Choam Chao commune invited a sixth man, whom they did not know, to join them, according to commune police chief Theng Kosal.

After about five minutes, Mr. Kosal said, the stranger left the group.

“The…man then walked to one of the men’s room and stole a wallet and a smartphone and tried to walk away,” he said, adding that the workers saw him take the items and demanded that he return them.

“Then he tried to escape and [the men] yelled and more than 100 people grabbed him and attacked,” Mr. Kosal said, adding that the man had yet to be identified but was likely in his 30s.

After the beating subsided, locals tied the man up and called police, he said.

“But after about 10 minutes, he tried to run away again and nearly 200 people living there attacked [him] and seriously injured him,” he said.

When police arrived at the scene, they put the man in a tuk-tuk to bring him to the commune police station, but he died on the way, he added.

Mr. Kosal said officers were investigating the incident but had so far failed to identify anyone to charge.

In the Mondolkiri case on Tuesday, Un Srun, 31, was beaten to death by about 20 construction workers in Pech Chreada district’s Pou Chrei commune after a woman accused him of rape, said commune police chief Trang Sal.

According to Mr. Sal, the woman and her husband went to bed in a shelter at a construction site at about 10 p.m.

“[The husband] slept next to his wife on the bed, but not close to each other,” Mr. Sal said. “[Mr. Srun] then got in between them with no clothes on.”

The woman, mistaking the naked Mr. Srun for her husband, then began to have sex with him, he said. After the woman felt a third body in the bed, he added, she realized she was not having sex with her husband and began to scream.

“Her husband then panicked and more than 20 construction workers came over and attacked [Mr. Srun] and seriously injured him,” Mr. Sal said.

When police arrived, they brought Mr. Srun to the commune health center, where he died of his injuries on Wednesday morning, he said, adding that police were still questioning the workers but had not determined who was involved in the fatal beating.

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