Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Cambodian invokes rare royal insults charge, arrests two

Robert Besser
26 Mar 2023, 15:23 GMT+10

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: Two Cambodian opposition figures--- Yim Sinorn and Hun Kosal--- have been charged under the country's rarely used law with insulting King Norodom Sihamoni for posts made on Facebook.

A judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court also charged the men with incitement to cause serious social unrest in the country, a court document showed. The men, once members of the now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, could face jail terms of up to five years and fines of $2,500 if found guilty.

The court did not specify what the posts said.

Yim Sinorn later posted on Facebook that he had deleted what he wrote about the king, while Hun Kosal said he respected the king and would promote the royal family.

Hun Sen, in comments on his Facebook page, said, "This is an insulting act that cannot be tolerated or excused."

Defaming the Cambodian king was outlawed by parliament in 2018. Rights groups expressed concerns at the time that the law, which is similar to legislation in neighboring Thailand, could be used to silence government critics.

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