Ministry warns media about “lèse-majesté”

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
King Norodom Sihamoni. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Ministry of Information has instructed all media outlets to be watchful that all publicized articles, videos, photos, voice recordings, etc. do not insult the King.  Distributing or reposting such material in print, online, or otherwise,  constitutes lèse-majesté.

Lèse-majesté is the crime of violating majesty, an offence against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state. In Cambodia this offence is punishable with to one to five years in prison with a fine of 2 to 10 million riels ($500 to $2500).

The ministry said that some media outlets have cited posts from social media and other sources which are insulting to the King, and in May two men were arrested and charged with insulting the King, one of them a teacher.

The teacher insulted the King on social media is the first person be charged under the new law on lèse-majesté.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said on Facebook that media reports about the arrest of the teacher have helped inform the public that re-posting items offending the dignity of the monarch will have dire consequences: “I think that the [offensive] message was re-posted by Fresh News; and more people will have read it than if it were it were posted solely by the teacher.”

“If you publish the insult [to the sovereign] on your platform, it will only help the original derogatory intent of the accused [teacher].”

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