Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - 50 convicts get pardons for Khmer New Year

50 convicts get pardons for Khmer New Year

Justice Ministry official Soch Sophanara briefs the media last week on the 321 applications the ministr received for royal pardons and sentence reductions. Of those, 50 applicants are granted early release or shorter prison sentences.
Justice Ministry official Soch Sophanara briefs the media last week on the 321 applications the ministr received for royal pardons and sentence reductions. Of those, 50 applicants are granted early release or shorter prison sentences. Hong Menea

50 convicts get pardons for Khmer New Year

Eight prisoners are expected to walk free on Saturday, the beneficiaries of the Cambodia's traditional Khmer New Year pardons.

The Ministries of Interior and Justice, which received 321 requests for clemency before the holiday, on Wednesday said it would grant amnesty to 50 applicants. In addition to the eight pardons, another 42 are to have their prison terms reduced, including six women, said Kim Santepheap, spokesman at the ministry.

Santepheap declined to identify the pardoned prisoners or to describe the crimes for which they were imprisoned.

Last year the pardoning system came under fire when it was revealed several rapists were among those handed shorter sentences during holiday pardons, and Licadho’s Am Sam Ath said the system was open to abuse through bribery and corruption.

The pardons and sentence reductions must still be signed off by the King.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed that there will be no pardons for political prisoners, including opposition leader Kem Sokha, who was jailed for “treason” in September last year and is awaiting trial.

General Prisons Department spokesman Nut Veasna claimed Cambodia “does not have political prisoners”, but noted that imprisoned “activists” were not eligible for pardons as they had not yet served two-thirds of their sentence as required.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government set to slash holidays

    The private sector has welcomed the government’s move to reduce the number of public holidays in the in the Kingdom – known for having the most public holidays in the world – by seven days. However, the government had just added the “Day of Remembrance” on

  • Kith Theang being held in PJ prison

    Kith Theang, the brother of prominent businessman Kith Meng, was charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court late on Monday and sent to the capital’s Police Judiciare (PJ) prison over the nearly 50kg of drugs found in a February 23 raid by authorities on the Rock

  • Farmers told not to plant next rice crop

    THE Ministry of Environment has told Cambodian rice farmers to refrain from planting crops in the midst of a drought heightened by record temperatures due to this year’s El Nino phenomenon. Temperatures are expected to peak in April and May. “Every year, [farmers usually]

  • Phay Siphan: Preah Sihanouk will become a second Singapore

    Government spokesman Phay Siphan said on Monday that Preah Sihanouk province will become a second Singapore, as authorities were warned that its development, fuelled largely by Chinese investment, was coming at a cost to locals. Siphan was speaking at a press conference after a seminar