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Supporters rally to pay Yahya’s defamation fine

Cham Muslim leader Ahmad Yahya speaks to the media outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court earlier this year.
Cham Muslim leader Ahmad Yahya speaks to the media outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court earlier this year. Hong Menea

Supporters rally to pay Yahya’s defamation fine

Members of the Cham Muslim community have rallied behind prominent leader Ahmad Yahya on social media a day after he was found guilty of defaming his counterpart Othsman Hassan over plans to build a road past Boeung Kak mosque.

The Facebook campaign, dubbed the “100 Million Riel Challenge”, was launched by Cambodian Muslim Media Centre chief Sles Nazy and seeks to raise money to pay Yahya’s defamation damages.

“He dared to say the truth to protect the common interest of the Cham community and was sued and ordered to pay 100 million riel [about $24,000]. I will contribute my own money for this 100 Million Riel Challenge,” a post by Nazy reads.

Nazy yesterday said the dispute between the pair – which may have sparked the cancellation of the Kingdom’s only Cham radio show – should never have happened.

“They are leaders of Cambodian Muslims; they are relatives within the same [Cambodian People’s] party,” he said.

Yahya said the fundraiser reflected the views of the Cham public and thanked them for their support, adding he would appeal the court’s decision. Hassan could not be reached for comment.

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