Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Amnesty idea floated during talks: report

Amnesty idea floated during talks: report

Amnesty idea floated during talks: report

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen discussed the possibility of offering amnesty to senior government officials in order to allow for “an honourable exit of the leaders”, Rainsy was quoted as saying to the French newspaper La Libération last week.

Rainsy reportedly said in the article published Friday that the discussion of the proposed amnesty law – which took place on September 16, during negotiations between the parties – had been initiated by Hun Sen, who said he would support such a measure if the opposition put it forward, but did not explicitly agree to leave office.

“It [the amnesty] would have to give guarantees in order to avoid a witch hunt, in order to not threaten [leaders’] fortune, their dignity,” and might include honorary posts, Rainsy was quoted as saying.

The Libération article went on to cite Rainsy as saying he had been asked to prepare an amnesty law for the three senior-most leaders of the government, and that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party would support the amnesty initiative, but would not step down under pressure.

Yesterday, Rainsy declined to comment on the piece, saying the revelations were not meant to be made public, and that while he “might” have made the remarks, it “would not be appropriate at this point” to elaborate on them.

Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker-elect Son Chhay, who was at the September meeting, said yesterday that while he didn’t remember the precise details, he seemed to recall that the idea came from CNRP deputy president Kem Sokha, who made the suggestion “to ensure a kind of trust” to foster compromise.

Though Hun Sen had appeared receptive, Chhay added, the idea soon fell by the wayside.

“On the second day of discussions, we could not reach an agreement … and it was never mentioned again on the second day,” he said.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap, who did not attend the September negotiations, said yesterday that he had heard about the idea, but couldn’t remember its provenance.

“If it’s created, it’s a good law, because it’s to protect the most senior leaders,” he said. “As we know, being a leader means doing [things that are] right and wrong.”



  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Cambodia, states clash at UN session

    Cambodia traded shots with the international community in a heated exchange at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday evening, with states condemning the Kingdom’s ongoing crackdown on the political opposition and civil society, and an increasingly agitated Cambodia accusing member states