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.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the