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Cambodia: Phnom Penh Municipal Court continue to hear incitement charges of prominent union leader and his two supporters in connection with Facebook posts

"‘Incitement’ law in the digital age: Rong Chhun’s case continues", 4 February 2021

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court ... continued the trial for union chief Rong Chhun and two of his supporters who were charged with “incitement” in connection with a statement he made claiming Cambodia had ceded land to Vietnam along their shared border in Tboung Khmum province.

Presiding Judge Le Sokha identified the three accused as Chhun, 51, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions and a member of the Cambodia Watchdog Council, Ton Nimol, 41, a motorbike taxi driver, and Sar Kanika, 37, a grocery vendor.

Judge Sokha said they were charged with “incitement to commit a felony or cause social unrest” under Article 495 of the Criminal Code...

Nimol and Kanika, Chhun’s supporters, shared the post on their personal pages, according to the document.

... When Chhun was arrested, Nimol and Kanika allegedly gathered fellow supporters to protest in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court asking for his release. They both also wrote Facebook posts badly insulting government leaders, the court and police officials, leading to their arrests ...

Kanika said she liked Chhun’s social work and followed his Facebook page...

“Related to the protest seeking Chhun’s release, I participated in it but I did not write the Facebook post or commit anything as accused,” she said.

She added that she participated in the protest just to exercise her freedom and expression which is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Nimol said he also saw and read Chhun’s Facebook post but did not share or like it and also denied writing a Facebook post regarding the protest...

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