Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man sentenced to year in jail for insulting Khmers in video

Man sentenced to year in jail for insulting Khmers in video

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Yin Heng – known as ‘Champei Khmao’ or the ‘Black Frangipani’ – at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday. Heng Chivoan

Man sentenced to year in jail for insulting Khmers in video

A Phnom Penh man was sentenced to two years in prison on Thursday with a year suspended for “incitement to discriminate” after posting a Facebook video rant in which he launched a tirade against the Cambodian people.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court handed down the sentence to Yin Heng, who caused a furore with the video, earning the nickname “Champei Khmao” or the “Black Frangipani”, and fined him three million riel ($750).

Judge Mao Sina read the verdict before the court, saying that after careful review of the case, Heng had been found guilty as charged by the investigating judge.

The trial was heard on June 4.

“The court sentences Yin Heng to two years in prison for incitement to discriminate under Article 496 of the Criminal Code and fines him three million riel to be paid into the national budget."

“The court orders him to serve one year in prison, while the remaining year will be suspended,” Judge Sina said.

Heng told the judge he accepted the decision.

“I am willing to accept the court’s verdict and, after leaving prison, I will not commit the crime again,” Heng said.

Heng had been riding his motorbike in front of the Royal Palace on February 4 when one of three men following him on another motorbike punched him several times on the top of the head.

Immediately afterwards, Heng posted on Facebook a video of himself, with the palace in the background and a bump on his head, denigrating all Cambodian people in an inflammatory rant that subsequently went viral.

He posted another video the following day apologising to Cambodians.

“After further thinking, I know I was wrong to use degrading language about Cambodia and Cambodian people,” he said.

Facebook users who shared the videos said insulting the Khmer race is equivalent to insulting Cambodian people and the country in general.

Heng was arrested on the evening of February 5 in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district. He was charged under articles 494 and 496 of the Criminal Code.

Article 496 describes incitement to discriminate as: “The direct incitement to discriminate, to be malicious or violent against a person or a group of persons because of their membership or non-membership of a particular ethnicity, nationality, race or religion.”

The offence is punishable by imprisonment of between one and three years and a fine of between two and six million riel.


  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15

  • CNRP activist freed; Sam Rainsy pledges return to Kingdom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday released former CNRP activist Oeur Narith on bail after the court ended its questioning on suspicion of receiving money from abroad and plotting to overthrow the government, according to the authorities. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed

  • Hun Sen says developing nations ‘targets of rivalry’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at the virtual UN General Assembly on Monday, saying that developing nations often become targets of punishment for their imperfections when they don’t rise to the standards of developed countries. He said rivalries between superpowers often hamper developing countries’