Hun Sen Calls for Arrest Over False Claim of His Death on Facebook

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered authorities to arrest a Facebook user who claimed the premier had died in a plane crash while en route to Vietnam.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh, Mr. Hun Sen said the post was insulting and deserved legal action.

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at the graduation ceremony at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh on Monday, in a photograph posted to his Facebook page.

“Such an insult leads to legal lawsuits. Beatings in noodles restaurants could stem from this language, and war could also stem from the language,” Mr. Hun Sen said. “If the prime minister died, the country would plunge into turmoil.”

A screenshot of the Sunday post to the Facebook page of user “Crazy Program But Happy” claimed Mr. Hun Sen died at 11:30 a.m. the day before. “Now he is dead. Very sorry,” it says.

Mr. Hun Sen said the user “must be sought.”

“Nephew, please run away as fast as you can or they will catch you,” he added. “Do you think that this is freedom of expression?”

Earlier this month, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged an Interior Ministry official for allegedly posting a death threat against the premier and his family on Facebook.

A screenshot that circulated online showed what appeared to be Leang La’s comment posted to a livestream video by Mr. Hun Sen. “Hun Sen is about to die, a warning to all the Hun family to flee before 2018,” it says.

Mr. La, 45, faces up to two years in prison if found guilty of making a death threat.

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