Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Central African Republic image denounced



Central African Republic image denounced

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Long Dimanche, a teacher in Kampong Cham, signs an apology to Prime Minister Hun Sen for posting a fake image of the beheaded peacekeepers yesterday on his Facebook page. FACEBOOK

Central African Republic image denounced

A Kampong Cham teacher who was publicly condemned by the Prime Minister for sharing a fake image of “beheaded” peacekeepers has been called in for questioning.

The man, a teacher called Long Dimanche, allegedly shared a photoshopped image of a severed head after news broke that four Cambodian peacekeepers were killed by a Christian terrorist group in Central African Republic earlier this week.

In a social media fracas immediately following the announcement of the deadly attack, a Facebook post that appeared to be from the South Korean ambassador, who also happens to be named Long Dimanche, implied that one of the peacekeepers had been beheaded – a report that was later proved false.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen denounced the teacher Dimanche, saying the doctored image “destroys the reputation of the army”.

“If you don’t remove the picture, it means you declare the war with the whole army. Please delete it immediately,” he said.

Provincial Deputy Police Chief Heng Vuthy said Dimanche had been summoned to the police station at 6pm on Wednesday night. “We did not arrest him, we just called him for some questions only,” Vuthy said.

“He already knew that he made a mistake and he made a promise not to do it again.”

The teacher Dimanche could not be reached for comment yesterday, but in a letter posted to his Facebook page at 11pm on Wednesday, he begged forgiveness from the premier.

“I am really sorry for my unintentional mistake because I do not understand much about the picture I have shared,” the letter read. “I did not mean to make a bad reputation for our military or to provoke any irregularity in our society.”

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said it was too early to tell if the investigation would continue into the dissemination of false information, but said Dimanche had set “a good example” by admitting his error and apologising.

The bodies of the deceased peacekeepers, Im Sam, Mao Eng, Seang Norin, and Mom Tola, are expected to be repatriated in two weeks.

Phal Samorn, deputy director general of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces (NPMEC), said it wasn’t yet confirmed how much compensation their families would receive from the UN.

Samorn added a ceremony would be held at NPMEC tomorrow morning in memory of the peacekeepers.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting