Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t weighs requests for pardons

Gov’t weighs requests for pardons

Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana, who is overseeing the review of over 700 inmates eligible for pardons or reduced sentences, speaks on Tuesday.
Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana, who is overseeing the review of over 700 requests for pardons or reduced sentences, speaks on Tuesday. Heng Chivoan

Gov’t weighs requests for pardons

The Ministry of Interior is reviewing a list of more than 700 inmates eligible for pardons or reduced sentences during the upcoming Water Festival.

Speaking yesterday as the review process began, Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana said that while prisoners who have served two thirds of their original sentences are eligible, it can be a difficult decision.

He added that “in cases where we cannot decide or do not dare decide” he would look to Prime Minister Hun Sen for a final decision.

The list of eligible prisoners is compiled by heads of 21 provincial prisons and four correctional centres. To receive reduced sentences, prisoners must have served at least one third of their time.

Am Sam Ath, technical adviser at rights group Licadho, said the pardons can be “unfair” and that “political prisoners” rarely make the cut.

In previous pardons, inmates have claimed that officials took bribes so only wealthy prisoners were freed, he said.

According to a January report by Licadho, systemic abuse and exploitation remains prevalent in the penal system despite reforms.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and