Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Former CNRP activist held for ‘insulting government’ on FB

Former CNRP activist held for ‘insulting government’ on FB

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Anti-Cybercrime Department police have held Mai Hongsreang, a former CNRP activist from Preah Sihanouk province. Photo supplied

Former CNRP activist held for ‘insulting government’ on FB

Anti-cybercrime Department police have arrested a former Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) activist in the capital for allegedly insulting government leaders on social media.

The CNRP condemned the arrest of Mai Hongsreang, a party activist from Preah Sihanouk province, who was arrested on Tuesday night while travelling in Phnom Penh.

Fresh News quoted Chea Pov, the director of the Anti-Cybercrime Department, as saying Hongsreang had insulted government leaders by altering their pictures.

The Post could not reach Pov for comment on Wednesday.

However, National Police spokesperson Lieutenant General Chhay Kimkhoeun confirmed the arrest.

“The arrest is linked to messages [posted on his Facebook account] that insulted government leaders, inciting to commit a felony,” Kimkhoeun said on Wednesday.

He said Hongsreang fled to Thailand after a warrant was issued but had recently returned to face arrest.

Kimkhoeun declined to explain further as to the crimes police were investigating.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesperson Kuch Kimlong said the court had not received the suspect from police as of Wednesday afternoon.

In a post on his “Even in death I am still Khmer” Facebook account on Saturday, Hongsreang criticised Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“If you are sick, be true to yourself. When I am sick I still smile and accept the truth. Don’t get away from national duties and take photos with your grandchild happily.

“Is my nation not as worthy as your grandchild? You are surviving because you plunder the nation,” he wrote.

His last post asked whether the wife of Veng Sakhon, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, had imported pigs into Cambodia from Vietnam.

Before his arrest, Hongsreang posted a video explaining how he had previously escaped police.

“I have been in the forest since 2am. Police besieged the house the whole of last night. At 2am, I crawled through paddy fields and went into hiding in the forest. Now I am in the forest. It’s miserable, but it is fine because I love the nation,” he said.

The CNRP released a statement on Tuesday condemning the arrest of Hongsreang.

It said it was the fourteenth arrest of a CNRP activist so far this year and was made “arbitrarily, violating personal freedoms, laws and the Constitution”.

It demanded Hongsreang’s immediate and unconditional release.

“We call on the international community and in particular local and international human rights NGOs, to monitor the human rights situation in Cambodia and put pressure on the Phnom Penh regime to make it stop violating human rights, with threats and prosecutions against the CNRP and human rights activists in Cambodia,” a CNRP statement said.

Sam Rainsy told The Post on Wednesday that Hongsreang was arrested because Hun Sen was afraid after the “acting president” of the CNRP’s announced returning in September.

“Hun Sen wants to demoralise CNRP supporters who are planning to welcome me,” Rainsy claimed.

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy stopped in Paris from boarding Thai flight

    Airline officials at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday prevented Sam Rainsy from boarding his flight to Bangkok ahead of his announced return to Cambodia on Saturday. Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier in the day assured Phnom Penh residents that there would be

  • Analyst: Rainsy blocked from boarding flight 'an excuse'

    THAI Airways not allowing Sam Rainsy on its route from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday is being used as an excuse to keep his standing among fellow coup plotters and his uninformed supporters as flights to non-Asean countries are available, an analyst said on Friday.

  • Rainsy lands in Malaysia

    Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said on Saturday that Cambodia respected

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand

  • Touch: Rainsy will never return

    Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has claimed it has achieved 70 per cent of its struggle to find a solution to the current political situation in the Kingdom. Just before boarding a plane at Charles de Gaulle

  • Prayut indicates no entry into Thailand for CNRP’s Rainsy

    Cambodian government officials on Wednesday welcomed the position of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after he indicated that Sam Rainsy would not be allowed to return to Cambodia through Thailand. “According to our commitment to Asean, we will not interfere in each other’s internal