Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dispute over number held for disseminating fake news




Dispute over number held for disseminating fake news

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
According to a Facebook post by NGO Licadho, several Cambodians have been arrested for sharing rumours on social media, even if they shared the information through private messages. Police

Dispute over number held for disseminating fake news

THE National police told The Post that nine people were sent to court for sharing fake news about Covid-19 infections, while NGO Licadho claimed 19 people were arrested, 13 of whom were released.

National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun told The Post on Tuesday that it is on the hunt for one more person involved in sharing fake news.

On Monday, Licadho posted on Facebook that several Cambodians had been arrested for sharing rumours on social media, even if they shared the information through private messages.

According to the Facebook post, the users either pledged to stop spreading “government-labelled” fake news or were charged and sent to pre-trial detention.

“From January 30 until now, we have found 19 cases. Among them, six suspects were detained and 13 others were released,” said Am Sam Ath, the deputy director of monitoring at Licadho. He said all six accused were former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) activists.

Sam Ath said the cloud of uncertainty over Covid-19 has led some to post their theories online. Sometimes, such theories could be considered fake news and deemed a threat to society.

“These arrests could be construed as restricting freedom of expression. This is not a good option. The good thing to do would be to educate people about Covid-19 with real information. Make sure that they understand, so they can cooperate in preventing its spread,” he said.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak told The Post on Tuesday that the suspects were sent to court for further legal action. Sopheak referred to them as opportunists taking advantages of the outbreak to promote their political party and criticise the government.

“Everyone is worried and cooperating to prevent this virus, [but] these people took the opportunity to promote propaganda, so let’s give the court the privilege of making a decision,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Thailand offers Covid-19 funding

    The Royal Embassy of Thailand contributed two million baht ($62,765) to Cambodia’s fight against Covid-19 on Wednesday, as the countries celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations. The donation was presented by Thailand’s Ambassador to Cambodia Panyarak Poolthup to Prime Minister Hun Sen at a meeting

  • Crowded prisons will set free 10,000 inmates

    Close to 10,000 prisoners will be freed as part of the country’s anti-prison overcrowding campaign, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng announced on Wednesday. The bulk of the inmates have mostly served their sentences and will continue to be monitored by local authorities after their release

  • Sanctuary head sued for not stopping forest occupations

    Four Bunong and an Adhoc official filed a joint lawsuit against Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary head Prum Vibol Ratanak at the Mondulkiri Provincial Court for failing to stop illegal land occupation and the buying and selling of forest land. Vibol Ratanak denies the allegations against

  • US and Cambodia talk cybersecurity ongoing assistance

    US Ambassador Patrick Murphy met with Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Wednesday to discuss bilateral collaboration including on issues of civil society organisations and democracy in Cambodia. But cybercrime seemed to be the prevailing topic at the meeting. Murphy posted on Twitter: “Productive meeting

  • UN: Don’t let patent rows hamper virus vaccine

    The UN patent agency has hailed the push to create a coronavirus vaccine and make it globally available but warned against allowing copyright rows to overshadow and delay the process. “What we need in the first place here is innovation,” said Francis Gurry, the head

  • ‘Be vigilant on human trafficking’

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Wednesday urged provincial authorities along the border to remain vigilant against the transportation of Cambodian migrant workers into Thailand. Speaking during an annual meeting of the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT), he said despite the closure of the