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Backers ask King to set Sonando free

Backers ask King to set Sonando free

Members of the Association of Democrats, the group led by jailed activist and Beehive Radio owner Mam Sonando, rallied in front of the Royal Palace yesterday to deliver petitions appealing for his release.

Huon Phannary, the deputy secretary-general of the association, said yesterday that nearly 100 people gathered to present the request through a palace official.

The petitions, addressed to King Norodom Sihamoni and King Father Norodom Sihanouk, were said to contain more than 140,000 thumbprints.

The petition asks for the royals to intervene in a case that saw the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentence Sonando last week to 20 years in prison for his masterminding of a so-called secessionist plot.

“Our country has a King. We hope that the King will help intervene to release him. This is the request of his supporters,” Phannary said.

Royal pardons are not uncommon, though they tend to steer clear of highly sensitive political cases, said Prince Sisowath Thomico, King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s personal secretary.

“So, the King will not interfere in this case,” Thomico said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]

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