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Jailed FB poster’s fellow students seek leniency

University student Kong Raiya poses for a photo at the Preah Vihear temple in August last year before being detained. Photo supplied
University student Kong Raiya poses for a photo at the Preah Vihear temple in August last year before being detained. Photo supplied

Jailed FB poster’s fellow students seek leniency

Students from Khemarak University filed a petition yesterday asking for leniency for a fellow student arrested last summer over inflammatory Facebook posts.

Kong Raiya was charged with incitement last August over Facebook updates he posted under a pseudonym calling for a “colour revolution” in Cambodia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court is scheduled to deliver a verdict this afternoon.

Six representatives of the Khemarak University student body yesterday delivered a petition to the offices of the prime minister, justice minister and interior minister asking that the charges against Raiya be dropped. It was signed by more than 70 of Raiya’s classmates, friends and peers, who spoke to his good character.

“We believe that Kong Raiya, in fact, has no intention to create a movement in society as charged, but he expressed his personal opinion as a freshman student with a limited understanding of the term ‘colour revolution’,” the letter reads.

Chri Bora was one of the six delivering the petition. He compared Raiya’s case to those of other Cambodian youths who were charged over social media threats against senior officials’ lives but later pardoned.

“I think that Kong Raiya, involved in a similar case, should be pardoned for the way he expressed his ideas,” said Bora.

Kong Chamroeun, a minister in Hun Sen’s cabinet, said he had accepted the petition, but made no comment on it.

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