Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen says his lawyers are considering filing lawsuits against those who insult him on social media, claiming he would demand $US2 million ($2.83 million) in compensation to be used to support orphanages.
“I’m asking my lawyers to check the legal aspect to sue those who insulted me on Facebook,” Hun Sen said during a speech, according to state media Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP).
The premier, who has led Cambodia for 34 years, said his lawyers were collecting evidence in about 32 cases.
Ky Tech, Hun Sen’s lawyer, told the dpa news agency via his assistant that he was studying the case and declined to comment further.
Cambodian authorities have prosecuted citizens over Facebook posts critical of the government in numerous insult or incitement-to-discriminate cases.
In 2018, a man was arrested on his wedding day after posting a video in which he called the government “authoritarian.”
The same year a woman was sentenced to two years in prison after she posted a video of herself throwing a sandal at a roadside billboard with Hun Sen’s image.
A conviction for insulting a public official, defined as “words, gestures, written documents, pictures or objects liable to undermine the dignity of a person,” carries a maximum sentence of six days in prison and a fine of up to about $US25 ($35).
Public insult, a separate charge, is punishable by a maximum fine of about $US2500 ($3530).