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

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.