Cambodia: Authorities arrest agribusiness owner & charge him with incitement & insult following his commentary on PM's speech on Facebook
"Agribusiness Owner Jailed After Poultry Commentary on Hun Sen’s Speech", 14 December 2020
An outspoken Phnom Penh agriculturalist was charged with “insult” and “incitement” and sent to pre-trial detention after posting sarcastic comments on social media about Prime Minister Hun Sen’s remarks on declaring a state of emergency.
Ny Nak, who often posts critical – and sometimes biting – commentary on the government’s agriculture policies, as well as the agriculture minister, ran afoul of the police for posting the comments on his Facebook page, confirmed Kuch Kimlong, a deputy prosecutor at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
He was placed in pretrial detention by investigating judge Hong Sokunvathana under the charges of “public insults” and “incitement to commit discrimination,” Kimlong added.
Days before his arrest, Ny Nak, using his Facebook page IMan KH, made a sarcastic twist on comments made by Hun Sen about his reluctance to put the country in a state of emergency to control the current community transmission cluster. He replaced mentions of the word “people” or “country” with poultry references.
“I have a draft of letter and document ready to place my poultry farm under a state of emergency over the spread of flu-like pneumonia,” Ny Nak wrote on his Facebook page …
Chak Sopheap, executive director of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, said the authorities should instead help clarify any alleged fake news that is published rather than spend all their energy on arresting people.
“By doing so, it serves nothing more than increasing fear among the people to share information or participate by expressing their views,” she said.