Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government grants clemency to 34 prisoners for Buddhist holiday

Government grants clemency to 34 prisoners for Buddhist holiday

Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana speaks at a meeting on prisoner pardons in October. This week, for Visak Bochea, 33 prisoners received sentence reductions, and one received a pardon.
Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana speaks at a meeting on prisoner pardons in October. This week, for Visak Bochea, 33 prisoners received sentence reductions, and one received a pardon. Heng Chivoan

Government grants clemency to 34 prisoners for Buddhist holiday

Thirty-four prisoners have been granted clemency ahead of the Visak Bochea Day holiday, out of more than 200 who sought royal pardons.

Just one prisoner received an outright pardon, while the other 33 had 12, nine or six months shaved off their sentences. Some 228 people in Cambodia’s overcrowded prison system had requested pardons ahead of the holiday, which marks the Buddha’s birth, death and enlightenment.

“Generally, the ones who get pardons or reduced sentences committed a minor crime and not a serious crime,” said Justice Ministry spokesman Chhin Malin. “There were no serious crimes like robbery, murder or rape, but minor ones such as stealing, snatching or breach of trust.”

Fellow Justice Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap said among those who received reduced sentences was one woman, but did not disclose if she was pregnant or had a young child in prison.

A report by The Post last week highlighted the drastic increase of young children behind bars amid Cambodia’s fraught drug crackdown, despite a number of pardons for pregnant women and women with young children in 2015.

The amnesties come on the heels of 50 prisoners being granted clemency ahead of Khmer New Year. Of those, eight received a full pardon.

Prime Minister Hun Sen recently vowed no pardons would be issued to members of the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party ahead of the national election on July 29, telling the Kingdom’s political prisoners they would have to wait 10 years for a new prime minister to come along.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway