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Man arrested for publicly insulting prime minister, district authorities in post

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A man was arrested in Battambang for insulting Prime Minister Hun Sen on social media. Police

Man arrested for publicly insulting prime minister, district authorities in post

Battambang provincial court on March 31 has charged a man with two counts of insulting and incitement after the suspect was arrested in Battambang for insulting Prime Minister Hun Sen on social media.

Chea Chanreaksmey, provincial court spokesperson said on March 31 that the suspect identified as Huon Borey, 32 – a resident of Phnom Proek commune, Phnom Proek district – had recently insulted the prime minister and district authorities.

“The suspect is charged with public insult in accordance with Article 305 and incitement to discriminate in line with Article 496 of the criminal code,” he said, adding that the suspect has been sent to an investigating judge for further prosecution.

Deputy provincial police chief Lim Puthyla told The Post on March 31 that the suspect had created a Facebook account on March 29 and uploaded a picture of the prime minister as his profile. He then wrote a post deemed seriously insulting according to Phnom Proek district authorities.

“Police called him in for questioning the first time he posted. Back then he had criticised the country’s leader and district authorities but with less serious language. But this time, he had insulted them again. So we had to arrest him,” he said.

Rights group Adhoc spokesman Soeng Sen Karuna said he supported the right to express critical views on social media, but not false ones. Individuals who express opinions contrary to the truth have to deal with the consequences.

“Actually, expressing one’s views is always possible. It should be done in a constructive way. One should not create a false story and then make trouble.”

“But we also don’t want to see legal action brought against him. He should be educated about the problems. Legal action should not be taken,” he said.

Should he be found guilty according to the two articles, the suspect faces between one to three years in prison and a fine up to 10 million riel ($2,500).

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