A CAMBODIAN first-year university student who called for a “colour revolution” in the Kingdom on Facebook last August was slapped with 18 months in prison yesterday after being found guilty of inciting chaos.
The student, identified as Kong Raiya of Khemarak University, had asked the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to drop the charges yesterday on grounds that he was not fully aware of the meaning of the post when it was published.
“This is not justice for me; not only for me but for all Cambodian people,” he was quoted saying in The Phnom Penh Post yesterday.
Kong Raya at his verdict pic.twitter.com/ByhIXf9DUY
— Chan Thul Prak (@prakchanthul) March 15, 2016
The 24-year-old intends to appeal the decision after Judge Heng Sok Na said the court would allow for it within provisions of the law.
Defense lawyer Sam Sokong said Wednesday that he was preparing documents for an appeal in the Appeals Court next week.
Earlier this week, Raiya’s classmates pleaded for leniency in the case, while his 67-year-old father, Kam Kong said the sentence was overly-severe.
“I would like the court to reduce the sentence to just half a year,” he said.
Raiya’s aunt Chhim Savath called for the student’s immediate release, saying he was merely exercising his freedom of speech.
“It was not a colour revolution because he was alone. If he didn’t have other people to join him, how can he make a colour revolution?” she said, referring to the term which suggested the movements to topple governments through non-violent means.
In recent months, Prime Minister Hun Sen and other top officials had directed the country’s authorities to clamp down on any attempts to create unrest.