Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on Friday that he may block access to Facebook in his country, after the platform announced its intention to remove one of his videos, in which he threatened to strike at his opponents.
Voters in Cambodia are due to head to the polls on July 23 for a general election widely described as a sham, as authorities have refused to register the Candlemas Party, Hun Sen’s main opposition.
On Thursday, the supervisory board of Meta, Facebook’s parent company, recommended that Hun Sen’s Facebook and Instagram accounts be suspended for six months over a video clip filmed in January.
In this video, he told his opponents that they would face legal action or be beaten if they accused his party of rigging the July elections.
Hours later, Meta said he would comply with the decision to take down the video.
“We will review all recommendations made by the Board of Directors as well as its decision, and heed the Board’s recommendation to suspend Prime Minister Hun Sen’s accounts once we have conducted this analysis,” the statement said. meta in a statement.
Hun Sen, a prolific Facebook user, announced late Thursday that he has stopped using the platform and appears to have deleted his account.
Speaking to workers in the western province of Pouthisat on Friday, Hun Sen threatened to block Facebook “for a short time or forever” in Cambodia, in a bid to prevent opposition representatives from exile from communicating with the country’s citizens.
Addressing dissidents in exile, he said: “Don’t be arrogant, you stay out, you use Facebook to communicate, we can block Facebook.”
He then urged Cambodians to download other social networks, such as Telegram, TikTok, Line, Viber and WhatsApp, which are also owned by Meta but whose content is difficult to control.
Hun Sen also accused Facebook of turning a blind eye to “insulting” statements made by his opponents about his wife and eldest son Hun Mane, who is widely seen as his father’s suitor.