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University student Tao Savoeun poses for a photo at a local police station in Siem Reap province yesterday, after he was detained by authorities for threatening Sar Kheng’s life on social media. Photo supplied
University student Tao Savoeun poses for a photo at a local police station in Siem Reap province yesterday, after he was detained by authorities for threatening Sar Kheng’s life on social media. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Student detained over Facebook ‘bomb threat’

A university student in Siem Reap province was detained and sent to court yesterday after allegedly posting a death threat against Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng on the social networking site Facebook.

Tao Savoeun, a 26-year-old graduate of the University of South-East Asia, located in Siem Reap town, allegedly wrote on Facebook he intended to “place a bomb to kill everyone” at a graduation event held in the city on Monday.

“He wrote a death threat in a comment on Facebook under a photo saying ‘when Samdech [Sar Kheng] arrives [at the graduation ceremony] I will place a bomb to kill everyone’,” said Bun Hav, a deputy in the provincial minor crimes bureau.

Savoeun was among 775 students who received their degrees on Monday, Hav added.

Provincial police questioned Savoeun on Monday and he reportedly confessed to having posted the message, saying he did so because the ceremony had been postponed several times, which he blamed on Kheng.

“After the graduation ceremony finished, we questioned and detained him,” Hav said, without explaining why the police waited until after the event to make the arrest.

“He [Savoeun] said that he was very unhappy” with the rescheduling of the ceremony “because he had to ask permission to attend from his workplace and informed his relatives many times,” Hav added.

A female University of South-East Asia student who declined to be named said that the school had originally planned to hold the event on Saturday, but it was then moved to Monday.

“The university told us that the deputy prime minister was busy, so they had to change the date,” the student said.

Police charged Savoeun with “threatening to kill” under Article 233 of the Criminal Code.

If he is found guilty, Savoeun could face up to two years in prison.

The arrest comes on the heels of the announcement of a new “anti-cybercrime” department within the Ministry of Interior tasked with monitoring Cambodians’ online activities.

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