Classmates Rally on Eve of Facebook Verdict

A group of university students called on the government on Monday to release a student detained last year over a Facebook post calling for a “color revolution,” ahead of a verdict due to be announced today at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Three representatives presented a petition signed by students from Khemarak University to the ministries of interior and justice, as well as to the prime minister’s cabinet, calling for the freeing of 25-year-old political science student Kong Raya.

“He should be released; he needs to study. Anyhow, color revolution was his opinion, there’s no way he can rally people,” said Ien Sophan, a third-year student at Khemarak.

Mr. Raya was arrested in August and charged with incitement to commit a felony over the Facebook post he had written two weeks earlier. During his trial last month. Mr. Raya told the court he regretted his words, while a prosecutor argued that his comments had already caused “turmoil.”

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said on Monday he was confident the “court will clarify whether it’s just opinion or a plan to start a color revolution.”

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