Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Convicts considered for pardons for Khmer New Year

Convicts considered for pardons for Khmer New Year

Justice Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap speaks to the press after the Ministry's meeting on prisoners' pardons during Khmer New Year yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Justice Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap speaks to the press after the Ministry's meeting on prisoners' pardons during Khmer New Year yesterday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Convicts considered for pardons for Khmer New Year

Officials with the Ministry of Justice held a meeting yesterday to discuss possible clemency for almost 400 prisoners, an annual tradition that coincides with Khmer New Year, officials confirmed.

Among the prisoners being considered are 24 women, 77 who asked for a pardon, and around 300 who asked for reduced prison terms, ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap said.

“If the prisoner has demonstrated good behaviour and served two thirds of their term, then those prisoners could be pardoned,” Santepheap said. “But if the person is in prison for a crime that was brutal, or is considered a danger to society, the committee will not consider their request.”

Santepheap also used the opportunity to affirm that Cambodia “has no political prisoners”, a statement highly contested by rights advocates.

Sorn Keo, a spokesman for the provincial prisons department, said the committee would continue to review cases over the coming days.

Observers have long criticised the annual pardons process as corrupt, alleging that some dangerous prisoners have succeeded in bribing their way to freedom.

Two years ago, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the Ministry of Justice to recheck pardon applications from convicted robbers and drug dealers, noting that recidivism is a problem in the Kingdom.

Am Sam Ath, of Licadho, said the pardons should be given as long as they are fair and transparent.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia