Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a former CNRP activist with incitement to discriminate and also incitement to commit felony.
Kuch Kimlong, court spokesman, said May Hong Srieng, 40, was slapped with the two charges after being questioned by deputy prosecutor Riel Sophin.
“May Hong Srieng was charged with incitement to discriminate and incitement to commit felony,” he said. “He has been sent to pre-trial detention.”
If found guilty, Mr Hong Srieng can be jailed for up to five years and also be fined up to about $2,500.
Interior Ministry’s Anti-Cyber Crime police on Tuesday arrested Mr Hong Srieng, who allegedly insulted government leaders in Facebook posts last year before fleeing to Thailand to avoid legal action. He was arrested along street 2004 in Phnom Penh in accordance with a court warrant.
Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun, National Police spokesman, said after the arrest that Mr Hong Srieng had insulted government leaders by photo-shopping and posting their pictures to put them in a bad light.
Mr Hong Srieng’s wife Kea Sisokunthy, 36, yesterday said she believes that her husband posted the pictures to criticise government leaders because he wanted more democracy and freedom of expression in Cambodia.
“I appeal to international and national organisations, please help my husband to be released because he is the main bread winner for my family,” she said, adding that they have three young children aged between two-and-a-half years and seven years.
Soeng Sen Karuna, human rights group Adhoc spokesman, yesterday said he believed that Mr Hong Srieng’s arrest was politically motivated.
“I think that the court charged him without reasonable cause because he was exercising his right to freedom of expression,” he said. “His arrest shows that the government is putting pressure on freedom of expression.”