May 15, 2018

Arrest for lèse majesté violation

Kheang Navy, A primary school teacher in Kampong Thom province was charged yesterday by the provincial court for allegedly violating the recently passed lèse majesté.

Niem Chheng | The Phnom Penh Post
Publication date 14 May 2018 | 10:02 ICT

A primary school teacher in Kampong Thom province was charged yesterday by the provincial court for allegedly violating the recently passed lèse majesté amendment and placed in pretrial detention, becoming the first to be charged by the controversial law.

Say Nora, spokesman for the Kampong Thom Provincial Court, confirmed the arrest, adding that the suspect, Kheang Navy, 50, the principal at Ta Hou Primary School in Stung Sen district, was charged with “insulting the King” in violation of Article 437 of the amended Criminal Code.

Police arrested Navy on Saturday, hours after he posted a comment on a Facebook post written by a government official in Kampong Thom who attended a celebration of King Norodom Sihamoni’s birthday in the province. In his comment, Navy blamed the King and the Cambodian royal family for last year’s dissolution of CNRP as well as the “loss of Khmer land”.

Nhem Chunly, Stung Sen district police chief, told The Post yesterday that he summoned Navy to the police station for questioning and to take legal action against him.

“He [Navy] wrote the comment in the morning of May 12, and we arrested him at 5 pm,” Chunly said. “He insulted the King in his comment, and he fully admitted his fault.”

Yen Saren, the deputy police chief in Kampong Thom province, said Navy was sent to the provincial court on Sunday afternoon for further action.

“He said it was his own will that made him write that comment, and no one asked him to do it,” Saren said.

This marked the first arrest since the amended article went into effect on March 5. The lèse majesté clause added to the Criminal Code defines an insult as any “word, gesture, writing, picture or other media which affects the dignity of the individual”, and specifically only applies to the King. According to Article 437, Navy could face one to five years in prison and a fine up to 10 million riel (about $2,500).

Ministry of Interior spokesperson Kieu Sopheak said the insult of the King would bring consequences, however it was done.

“No matter if it is Facebook or whatever, we will impose legal actions because it was an offence according the Constitution,” Sopheak said.

During the amendment’s debate, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights found the development worrying. Noting that a similar law has been abused elsewhere, especially in Thailand, APHR Chairman Charles Santiago said there was “serious potential for its abuse in Cambodia”, adding that the lèse majesté law would likely serve as “yet another addition to the government’s arsenal of legal tools” with which it attacks political opponents.


Kim Ea said...

This laws is dangerously implicated to Khmer societies and lives of citizen . They are making up another dictator laws to protect the king a rightful power of Vietnam invasion . I love the king too if he was a patriot who taking care nation business and control our nation sovereignty but so far he is just a mouth piece of Yuan install dictator communist instead of caring about Khmer suffering , he hid day and night in the palace cage ,why they made this laws to protect criticism? . Hun Sen a communist for his whole life tend to brush aside his antagonism with this hatred families and also help created a new laws to protect them did Khmer have any suspicion on it ? Think about it Khmer,it's may have something wrong hidden inside this ?. Take Look at Thailand coup a general brutally suppressed an elected government by used a thin veil of this lese majesty laws to cover up their coup . Did this new creation laws the so call Lese majesty just made up as a veil to protect the skin and any criticism of this puppet foreign installed government to full fill all their legalization invader power ? They put this hybrid King to protect their interest ,and this dictator laws may word well to smash any Khmer citizen who disagree with the move of this administration and their political Yuan association ?

Justic Justice said...

How many more lives will have to face with such punishment, from this evil king Dumb Sihanouk bloodline. Like father like son. From blood killers and continuing. His father involved in killing up to 4 millions and his half brother Ranarith up to 100s during the Funcipic era. Now, this gay king. When is it going to end? Why don’t you kill yourself, for her national interest. Why do you continue to work for communits interest, Ha?!. Time will come for you and your dynasty hopefully soon!

Justic Justice said...

If you are a good king, no one blame you, but if you are a bad king, then of course they have the right to criticise. If you don’t like it then get out of her country now. You are not khmers king, you are son of a VC hybrid whore, being implanted to eliminate her fr9m her existence. You are like a cancer deep inside her system. People have enough of your bloodline. Why are you still in her seat. Is it because of all those assets from your evil father e.g palace collecting million$, or selling her asset like Kosh Tral to Vietnamese, again collecting millions $, without her approval. You and Hun Sen are traitors and are thief of the Khmer nation. What will you do with her blood money? Only to be used against her and her people? but smart ass. Hopefully, you all will be in hell, hopefully soon!