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Insulting the king of Cambodia has become a criminal offense

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King of Cambodia Norodom Siamoni King of Cambodia Norodom Siamoni

News24xx.com - The Cambodian authorities have tightened the punishment for disrespecting King Norodom Siamoni - now such an offense amounts to a criminal offense.

Now the king is either good or nothing. Disrespect for the king of Cambodia became a criminal offense. The relevant amendments to the criminal code of the country were adopted last week.

According to them, anyone who dares to insult the monarch can be deprived of liberty for a term of one to five years or sentenced to a fine in the amount of 500 to 2500 dollars, reports “Reuters».

The Cambodian authorities explained the adoption of the amendments as a desire to "support and protect the king and his honor". In turn, human rights activists believe that the law can be used to combat dissent in the country.

Last year, the Cambodian authorities dissolved the largest opposition party (the National Salvation Party of Cambodia), its leader was accused of treason.

“The government’s adoption of a law to insult His Majesty seems to be another attempt by the authorities to use the country's legislation to fight potential adversaries”, - said the International Commission of Jurists Kingsley Abbott.

Human Rights Watch spokesman Brad Adams called the Cambodian law a "heavy blow to freedom of expression."

Recall the king in Cambodia is officially considered the head of state, but doesn’t have real power. The “de facto» leader of the country is Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power for 33 years.

The current monarch, 65-year-old Norodom Siamoni, was enthroned in October 2004 after his father Norodom Sianouk resigned due to poor health. Prior to the ascension to the throne, Prince Siamoni spent most of his life in Europe, where he worked as a choreographer in ballet, professor of classical arts and served as Ambassador of Cambodia to UNESCO.

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