Responding to the conviction and sentencing of Ban Samphy to seven months in prison and a five-month suspended sentence on charges of “insulting the king” for sharing a Facebook post, Minar Pimple, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Global Operations, said:
“Ban Samphy is behind bars for expressing himself – all he did was click a ‘share’ button for a post that included nothing but peaceful criticism. He should be released immediately and unconditionally, and his sentence must be overturned.
“This is a brazenly political verdict. Earlier this year, Hun Sen’s administration devised this ‘lese majeste’ provision to the Criminal Code to muzzle peaceful criticism, as this first conviction shows. This legislation must be repealed.”
Ban Samphy, a 70-year-old barber and former minor opposition official from Siem Reap, was jailed for sharing a Facebook post that criticized Prime Minister Hun Sen and what the post called the "fake king" over a dam project.