Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen warns Facebook users that he’s watching

Hun Sen warns Facebook users that he’s watching

Hun Sen shows the audience at a press conference in 2010 a phone that he uses to keep track of sports. Yesterday the prime minister warned that he would be keeping track of Facebook users that insult him on social media and said they could face arrest.
Hun Sen shows the audience at a press conference in 2010 a phone that he uses to keep track of sports. Yesterday the prime minister warned that he would be keeping track of Facebook users that insult him on social media and said they could face arrest. AFP

Hun Sen warns Facebook users that he’s watching

Facebook users who insult Prime Minister Hun Sen or criticise government policy on sensitive issues could be traced in a matter of hours, the premier said yesterday.

“My opponents should not make insults, because we can identify you,” Hun Sen said during a speech at a Phnom Penh graduation ceremony.

“I’m not exactly sure how the technology works . . . But we can find those people; it’s not very difficult.

“We arrested the colour revolutionaries immediately,” he added, in an apparent reference to a first-year university student arrested in August after advocating nonviolent regime change on Facebook.

On December 22, Hun Sen took a softer approach, saying that officials in his office would take a note of all insulting comments posted to his Facebook page, but only so that they could comment in response, rather than blocking users or taking legal action.

But in yesterday’s speech, he went on to warn social media users that they would not be able to hide their identities from the authorities.

“If I want to get you, I need less than seven hours,” he said. “I won’t need to send forces from Phnom Penh; I can also order local forces. You should not use bad words to insult me, because I can get you if I want to.”

“I want you to know that . . . I see what you write and just want to educate you.”

Chak Sopheap, executive director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, urged politicians to “teach the people how to use social networks correctly”.

“If [users] are worried about incorrectly sharing information, insulting, being arrested or sharing false information, political parties should teach them how to use [social media] responsibly and safely.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Twenty years after Pol Pot died a broken man, his memory looms large

    Two decades have passed, but Mea Chron still stands by Pol Pot. Most days he also stands by the mass murderer’s cremation site, keeping guard in the Khmer Rouge’s last stronghold of Anlong Veng. Pol Pot, the widely reviled despot who spearheaded the

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • ‘Trouble’ foreseen in Khmer New Year almanac

    At 9:12am on Saturday, Cambodia’s devout can expect the arrival of Moha Thorathevey, an angel on a peacock holding a trident in one hand and an auspicious serrated wheel in the other. The angel, who has a liking for water hyacinths, will usher in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the