Cambodian ex-leader Hun Sen back on Facebook after long-running row

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Cambodia’s ex-leader Hun Sen returned to Facebook on Sunday, claiming the social media giant had “rendered justice” to him by refusing to suspend his account after he posted violent threats on the platform.

In a post, Hun Sen said Facebook had rejected a recommendation from its Oversight Board to suspend his account after he had posted a video threatening to beat up his rivals.

It is the latest twist in a months-long row that has seen the prolific user quit Cambodia’s most popular social media site, deactivate his account, and threaten to ban the platform.

“I have decided to use Facebook again… after Facebook rejected recommendations of a group of bad people and rendered justice to me,” he wrote on Sunday, referencing the Oversight Board.

Hun Sen’s hugely popular page — which has around 14 million followers — was reactivated in July, but his social media assistant claimed to be running it in his place at the time.

Facebook’s parent company Meta did not respond to AFP’s request for comment.

  • Suspension row –

The row kicked off in June when the platform’s Oversight Board recommended that Hun Sen’s Facebook and Instagram accounts be suspended for six months due to a video he posted in January.

In the clip, he told opponents they would face legal action or a beating with sticks if they accused his party of vote theft during elections in July.

The Oversight Board’s recommendation prompted a furious reaction from the then-leader, who banned Facebook representatives from the country and blacklisted more than 20 members of the board.

However, on Sunday Hun Sen said the ministry of telecommunications would allow Facebook representatives to return to work in Cambodia — although the ban on members of the Oversight Board remained.

The move comes after the country’s parliament elected Hun Sen’s son Hun Manet as the new prime minister last month.

Hun Sen, who ruled Cambodia for nearly four decades, has publicly said that he will continue to dominate the country’s politics, serving in other positions until at least 2033.

©️ Agence France-Presse

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