Siem Reap Man Arrested for “Fake News” on COVID-19, Sar Kheng Defends Arrests

Siem Reap provincial police have arrested a man and sent him to court for allegedly posting fake news on social media about the coronavirus outbreak, with Interior Minister Sar Kheng on the same day defending the arrests as an attempt to prevent chaos in society.

Siem Reap police arrested Phut Thona on Wednesday and sent him to provincial court for posting fake news on Facebook. The police refused to divulge what information the man posted, only that they had enough evidence to charge him based on Article 425 of the Criminal Code for spreading “false information.”

Huot Sothy, a deputy Siem Reap provincial police chief, said the police had been monitoring Phut Thona’s Facebook account, though not detailing why the man was under surveillance. He added that after monitoring Phut Thona’s social media account for five days they had enough evidence to arrest the man.

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