Reporter Arrested for Incitement in Relation to Facebook Activity

2 min read
Kouv Piseth in a photo from March 2019 and posted on his Facebook page.

A reporter has been arrested in Battambang over alleged incitement related to his Facebook activity, according to military police.

Kouv Piseth, 32, was arrested midday Wednesday in Battambang city, provincial military police said in an announcement.

Piseth, who works for Siem Reap Breaking News, was accused of incitement to disturb social security based on a Facebook post on Monday, it said. Military police confiscated three mobile phones, one car and one press card, it added.

Piseth’s Facebook page on Monday has four items: a new profile picture of vegetables and barbecued meat, a photo of himself with a police officer, a picture of architecture, and an inflammatory video shared from another user.

The video includes images of Prime Minister Hun Sen with commentary: “You are a cheap person and you betray the nation … please, Jesus, break the betrayal of the nation,” plus more colorful language.

Military police also posted an image of Piseth with printouts of several other earlier Facebook posts. They include an image of Prime Minister Hun Sen that says “Acquired through the real betrayal of the nation.” The image shows mansions and arrows pointing to forests, a gold mine, an island and other resources.

Other comments Piseth has made on Facebook relate to Chinese Covid-19 vaccines and calling for the ruling CPP to step down. “People are angry with the current regime but they do not dare to speak out,” he says. He also reposted one previous post, saying “I am the one who posted it and in my point of view, it is not treason or a crime, and it’s just not supporting the leader and it is my right and freedom of my opinion so there is no need to worry.”

National military police spokesman Eng Hy declined to comment. Provincial information department director Suos Sopheak said he didn’t know about the case. Information Ministry broadcasting director Phos Sovann said the ministry had received no information. A Battambang Provincial Court spokesperson could not be reached.

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