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Police arrest fugitive activist over Government insults

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
May Hong Srieng. Fresh News

The Interior Ministry’s Anti-Cyber Crime police on Tuesday arrested a former CNRP activist who allegedly insulted government leaders in Facebook posts last year before fleeing to Thailand to avoid legal action against him.

Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun, National Police spokesman, yesterday said May Hong Srieng was arrested in accordance with a court warrant which had been issued against him.

“We arrested May Hong Srieng based on the court’s arrest warrant,” he said. “Now, police officers are questioning him and we will send him to court soon.”

Lt Gen Kim Khoeun noted that Mr Hong Srieng had insulted government leaders by photo-shopping and posting their pictures to put them in bad light last year before fleeing to Thailand.

Major General Som Sinin, Anti-Cyber Crime Department deputy director, said he only knew that Mr Hong Srieng was arrested by police officers in Phnom Penh on Tuesday evening, but did not know the details.

He referred questions to his director Lieutenant General Chea Pov.

Lt Gen Pov could not be reached for comment yesterday, but told local media that Mr Hong Srieng was arrested on Tuesday evening along Street 2004 in Phnom Penh after he returned to Cambodia from Thailand to meet with former opposition party members to organise protests.

Ou Chanrath, a former CNRP lawmaker, said he does not know what Mr Hong Srieng posted and how it affected government leaders.

“I do not support people who post insulting words against each other,” he noted.

Mr Chanrath noted that if the offence is minor, the government should educate Mr Hong Srieng and release him.

“I appeal to the government not to use harsh measures against Facebook users because it can impact freedom of expression,” he said.

A statement from a group of former CNRP members based overseas on Tuesday said that Mr Hong Srieng’s arrest was politically motivated and violated human rights and the Kingdom’s Constitution.

“May Hong Sreng is the 14th political activist arrested illegally since the beginning of 2019,” the statement noted.

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