Originally published on the CCHR website on 08 February 2016.
The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (“CCHR”) releases today – 08 February 2016 – a Fact Sheet on the recent spate of threats, arrests and convictions aimed at social media users, which is threatening freedom of expression in Cambodia. The Fact Sheet highlights a number of cases in which individuals have been arrested or threatened, and emphasizes the particular importance of freedom of expression for criticism of public officials.
At least seven people have been arrested for authoring posts or commenting online since August 2015, and all but one of these individuals remains in prison. At least 24 individuals have also been publicly threatened since August 2015 on the basis of social media comments. This worrying trend threatens to create a culture of self-censorship in Cambodia, whereby individuals refrain from engaging in political commentary for fear of being arrested.