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The warning was issued following the death of a teacher that some people on social media attributed to her having been vaccinated for COVID-19
PHNOM PENH--People who share false or fake news on social media may also be subject to an investigation and be questioned by the police, according to Ministry of Justice spokesperson Kim Santepheap.
Not only people fabricating fake news are held accountable under the law, but those who share them also may be liable, he said on Feb. 19 during a press conference held jointly by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health.
“Want it or not, those who spread fake news must be questioned by the authorities,” Santepheap said. “[T]hey can also be involved in criminal cases if they fail to provide proper evidence to prove [that they are not guilty].”
Santepheap addressed the issue of fake news in connection with the death of a teacher that some people on social media said happened after she had been vaccinated for COVID-19 with the Sinopharm vaccine developed in China.
This was denied by Ministry of Health Secretary of State and spokesperson Or Vandine who said at the press conference that the teacher had in fact died due to severe meningitis.
Rejecting the attempt to link her death to the vaccine, Vandine added that people who fabricated the rumor intended to cause social disorder and drive public distrust in the vaccine produced in China.
People disseminating falsehoods may be charged under article 495 of the country’s criminal code, which stipulates that anyone convicted of inciting social chaos may be sentenced to up to 2-year imprisonment and a fine of four million riels ($1,000), Santepheap said at the press conference.