On March 7 the Supreme Court rejected the appeal submitted by Sourn Serey Ratha, former president of the Khmer Power Party, to get out of prison on bail. He was sentenced to five years for “incitement” through Facebook posts critical of Prime Minister Hun Sen and military leaders.
Kong Srim, the presiding judge, announced “the Supreme Court rejects the appeal of defendant and upholds the verdict of October 12, 2017.”
An incessant government critic, Mr Serey Ratha was arrested on August 13, 2017 for using Facebook, during the then teeming border dispute with Laos, to tell soldiers that only they were in harm’s way while the higher- ups enjoyed their usual perks in safety. This was seen as incitement to civil disobedience.
Mr Serey Ratha said during the trial that the reasons for his tardy appeal were that he felt helpless in his situation, that he wants to take care his old mother, and that he must feed his two children because his wife cannot support the family by herself.