AN advocacy group for journalists has offered money to the family of imprisoned opposition publisher Hang Chakra, as advocates renewed requests for a Royal pardon ahead of Khmer New Year.
The Germany-based group Journalists Help Journalists has offered to donate US$1,500 to Hang Chakra’s family, said Club of Cambodian Journalists president Pen Samitthy, who added that his organisation is facilitating the donation. In the meantime, the Club of Cambodian Journalists is also asking for Hang Chakra’s release.
“I hope that Hang Chakra will be freed soon. We also want to see their family members meet together during the coming Khmer New Year festival,” he said.
Hang Chakra, editor in chief of the opposition-aligned Khmer Machas Srok newspaper, was sentenced to one year in prison last June after he was convicted of spreading disinformation in a series of stories accusing officials of corruption.
On Sunday, Hang Chakra’s daughter, Hang Chan Pisey, said she held hopes for a Royal pardon before Khmer New Year.
“I would like to appeal to King Norodom [Sihamoni] and especially Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene for the release of my father,” Hang Chan Pisey said.
Amnesty is traditionally granted to some during national festivals, though the prime minister typically must first make a formal request to the King.
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