A racist mob attacked and killed a Vietnamese man after he crashed his motorcycle in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on Saturday night, police and the district governor said Sunday.
Nguyen Yaing Ngoc, 28, drove his motorcycle into the back of a car along National Road 2 in Chak Angre Loeu commune at around 9:45 p.m. The car continued on, leaving the young man injured in the street, where he was then set upon by an angry mob of about six people, Huot Vanna, deputy commune police chief, said.
“Nguyen Yaing Ngoc died after the group of people beat him on the head and face,” Mr. Vanna said, adding that the group had been angry that his crashed motorcycle was blocking the road.
“The fighting started when someone shouted ‘Yuon fight with Khmer!’ and then the mob beat him to death,” he added. Nguyen Yaing Ngoc died at the scene, he said.
One man, named as Von Chanvutha, 50, was subsequently arrested for allegedly instigating the racial violence, Mr. Vanna said.
“We detained him and sent him to police for questioning,” he said.
Mr. Vanna said villagers had told police the victim was a Vietnamese national, and that police had not yet been in touch with the man’s family.
Chak Angre Krom commune chief Chea Sokhai said the victim’s body had already been cremated at the local pagoda.
Meanchey district governor Kuoch Chamroeun said he was aware of the mob killing and said racism was behind it because the killers had shouted epithets about the victim’s ethnic background as they set upon him.
“It is a mob killing and due to discrimination, as the mob killed the victim after calling him a ‘yuon,’” a term for Vietnamese people that can be derogatory in some contexts, Mr. Chamroeun said.
Chan Soveth, deputy head of monitoring for rights group Adhoc, decried the killing and called for a thorough investigation by the police.
“They should not have killed the victim for being Vietnamese or any other nationality,” he said.