Officials from the cabinet of Tea Banh have demanded the arrest of a Facebook user for posting a photo of the defence minister in hospital made up to look as if he had died.
The picture, which shows the minister in a hospital bed and has been altered to include a bunch of bananas on the minister’s chest and an urn of incense behind his head, was accompanied by a message reading “Tea Banh died at 4.45am in Beijing on the night of the 21st”.
Nem Sowath, an adviser for Banh who had left the country to receive medical treatment, wrote on his Facebook page that authorities should take “immediate action” against the “criminal” behind the “immoral and inhumane” post.
The owner of the account, Hai Khmerkrom, admitted to editing the photo but said he lives in Europe and is not afraid of arrest. He noted threatening comments by Tea Banh and other senior officials directed at protesters.
“How about Tea Banh? He said he wanted to break people’s teeth and [Minister for Social Affairs] Vong Soth said he wanted to beat people with bamboo. Hun Sen has threatened war. Are they guilty too?” he asked.