Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Half of recent pardons were for sex offences




Half of recent pardons were for sex offences

Inmates leave Prey Sar prison after they were pardoned in 2015.
Inmates leave Prey Sar prison after they were pardoned in 2015. Vireak Mai

Half of recent pardons were for sex offences

Among the 35 convicted criminals who had their prison sentences reduced by the King for the Visak Bochea holiday, more than half committed sex-related offences, according to documents obtained by The Post yesterday.

In a royal decree signed May 29, King Norodom Sihamoni signed pardons for four convicts for crimes ranging from theft to rape, and reduced 35 sentences by up to a year.

Of the 23 convicts who had their sentences reduced by six months, almost two-thirds were jailed for sex-related crimes including rape and procurement of prostitution.

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

Several convicts had raped a child under the age of 15 but were deemed to “have worked hard to improve themselves during serving their punishment”, the royal decree said.

Chin Malin, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry, which compiles the list, said the nature of the crime was not considered when deciding whether to reduce a sentence or grant a pardon. Instead, the prisoners’ cooperation with the authorities and the duration of their term served were considered.

He said that the leniency granted to sex offenders “does not encourage rape crimes”, adding that a pardon or sentence reduction would not be granted “if the nature of the crime was brutal”.

But in an email, Chak Sopheap, executive director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, expressed concern that the government might not consider rape a serious crime, and said the system of royal pardons needs to establish transparency and clearer criteria.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia

  • Police arrest 29 Chinese for PP kidnapping

    Phnom Penh Military Police arrested 29 Chinese nationals on kidnapping charges on Wednesday. The suspects are said to have abducted three other Chinese nationals from a hotel in Chaktomuk commune, Daun Penh district. The operation took place on Wednesday and was led by two deputy commanders –