Cambodian ‘shoe-thrower’ gets jail

PHNOM PENH: A Cambodian woman who threw her shoe at a ruling party billboard last year was sentenced to two years imprisonment for incitement to discriminate, local media reported.

Sam Sokha posted a video of the incident to Facebook in April 2017 showing her throwing a sandal at an image of Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen. The video went viral.

Cambodian authorities issued a warrant for her arrest for “insult of a public official” and “incitement to discriminate”, and Sokha fled to Thailand, where she was awarded refugee status by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

But she was arrested in Thailand in January for overstaying her visa and deported back to Cambodia in February.

Sokha was initially convicted in absentia in January and sentenced to two years in jail. She was also ordered to pay a hefty fine to the state.

Following her deportation to Cambodia, Sokha was re-tried by the Kampong Speu municipal court, which on Thursday handed down the same decision as the first court.

In the hearing, the accused said she regretted her deed and wanted the authorities and Hun Sen to pardon her. Her family also asked for that. — dpa

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