Cambodian rapper vows to continue writing critical songs after a year in jail for incitement

Authorities said his lyrics might incite people to commit crimes.

Cambodian rapper Kea Sokun spent a year in jail after being found guilty of “incitement to commit a felony” for two songs he wrote and posted on YouTube.

Sokun was arrested in September 2020 after the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts filed a police complaint against the 22-year-old rapper for posting two songs on social media that allegedly incited people to overthrow the government. Sokun contested the charge but the court convicted him in December 2020, and he was released nine months later.

At a young age, Sokun was forced to drop out from school in order to earn a living and help his family as an amateur photographer. He set up a YouTube channel in 2015 and started to post songs which appealed to fellow young Cambodians. His channel contains almost 35 songs and has more than 200,000 subscribers.

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