One of Norodom Sihamoni's long-time friends says she will ask him to mark his coronation
by granting amnesties to a list of nominated prisoners in Cambodian jails.
Dr Kek Galabru, president of the powerful Cambodian human rights organisation LICADHO,
said she would consult the Director of Prisons to get his support before writing
a formal request to the King.
"There are about 5000 prisoners in jail and I don't know how many we will have
on the list but we will present a good case. The selection would be done by the director
and LICADHO. We work in the prisons, we interview almost all prisoners, we monitor
prison conditions and give medical assistance."
Under Article 27 of the Constitution the King has the right to grant partial or complete
Dr Galabru said: "The coronation is a good time for him to do this. A coronation
only happens once in his life and it's an opportunity for him to do something special.
"I particularly want to see some women released. There are some tragic cases,
such as women who killed their husband in self-defense after prolonged beatings,
who are serving 10 years. These cases I want him to at least reduce the sentence
if they have served one-third. If they have served two-thirds they could be granted
full amnesty. Some did not even have a trial. Some are dying of HIV/AIDs or cancer."
Galabru's mother was the royal governess to the children of Sihamoni's generation
and Galabru has maintained contact with him over the years.