Phnom Penh Man Publicly Apologizes for Insulting Traffic Police on TikTok

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Police officers direct traffic in Phnom Penh on September 15, 2020. (VOD)

A Phnom Penh resident made a public confession and apology for allegedly insulting traffic police officers in a video posted to social media platform TikTok.

The National Police alleged that TikTok user Meach Sophat insulted and cursed traffic police officers implementing the traffic law in Daun Penh district, causing serious insult to its officers. The original TikTok video has been taken down.

According to a police report, a quick reaction unit was deployed to search for and detain Sophat on September 14. He was detained, “educated,” made to sign a contract and was videotaped making a confession and apology to “senior leaders.”

“I am Meach Sophat and I would like to make a public apology to the brother authorities because I have posted messages on TikTok cursing and insulting them on September 14. … I promise that I will not commit such a mistake and please, senior leaders, forgive me,” the man says in the 26-second video. 

Phnom Penh police spokesperson San Sokseyha defended the public apology by saying police officers normally were tolerant of insults as long as people made public apologies. If the insult impacted social security or incited people then they would have to face the legal consequences, he added.

“When they insult in a general way, the authorities tolerate them and give them an opportunity to make a confession and apologize publicly,” Sokseyha said.

He said Sophat had confessed to insulting the police officers and was released after signing a contract.

The publicly broadcast confession was similar in nature to an incident in March last year, when Kampot officials had an underage student apologize on social media for allegedly spreading fake news about Covid-19 deaths, with her identity revealed in initial posts of the video.

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