Student Questioned Over Facebook Comment

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday questioned a university student who was arrested last month after he called for a “color revolution” in a Facebook post, his lawyer said.

Sam Sokong, a lawyer for Kong Raya, 25, said his client was summoned by Investigating Judge Leang Samnath to answer questions over the incitement charge laid against him.

“The judge asked my client what was his intention when he posted the words ‘color revolution,’” said Mr. Sokong, adding, “The word ‘color revolution’ that he wrote was not intended to cause chaos in society.”

The lawyer said the post—in which Mr. Raya wrote that he would “make a color revolution to change the regime for Khmer society”—was not part of any attempt to usurp power from the government.

“My client was referring to a peaceful demonstration and it was not meant to gather a force to topple the government or cause any problems,” Mr. Sokong said.

He added that Judge Samnath also asked Mr. Raya whether he was in contact with any political groups before posting the message.

“My client said it was his personal idea and that he did not talk to anyone,” said Mr. Sokong, who acknowledged that in the past his client had joined in various protests over “social issues.”

The lawyer added that he planned to request this week that his client be released on bail.

Asked by a reporter at the court Tuesday about his post, Mr. Raya reiterated that he considered a “color revolution” to be only an “expression,” a view he expressed last week at the court when his questioning was rescheduled due to the absence of his lawyer.

“It is just an expression on Facebook,” Mr. Raya said.

“The charge is unreasonable and I did not incite anyone,” he added. “It was just my opinion and I did not talk with anyone about the way to make a revolution.”

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