Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Jailed CNRP 14 receive royal pardon

Jailed CNRP 14 receive royal pardon

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Supporters, monks and former CNRP members gather in front of Prey Sar prison on Monday night. Heng Chivoan

Jailed CNRP 14 receive royal pardon

In a royal decree signed on Monday night, King Norodom Sihamoni pardoned 14 former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) officials, including senior official Meach Sovannara, at the request of prime minister-designate Hun Sen.

They were released last night.

Some 300 people, including former senior CNRP officials, had gathered in front of Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh late into the night, after Sovannara’s wife posted news on her Facebook page that former CNRP officials and activists would be released.

“I’m so excited that my husband, Meach Sovannara, and others are changing clothes and filling out forms for their release,” she said.

The royal pardon was made after Sovannara and other activists wrote a letter to Hun Sen seeking to be released amid a wake of pardons for political activists since the July 29 national elections.

Convicted by the capital’s municipal court in July 2015 on charges related to a political demonstration at Freedom Park the year before, the opposition members are serving between seven and 20 years behind bars.

Their sentences were upheld by the Supreme Court in June.

“We have been imprisoned for more than three years. We all regret joining the demonstration at Freedom Park which seriously affected security and social order,” the letter, dated Friday, read.

“We would like to promise that from now on we will not join any demonstration or any activity with such consideration.

“We respect the Constitution and other laws and wish to participate in protecting the peace that Samdech Techo [Hun Sen] has made great efforts to achieve and maintain for the development of our country,” they wrote, asking the prime minister to request a pardon for them.

Beside Sovannara, the other signatories were Khin Roeun, Neang Sokhun, San Kim Heng, San Seyhak, Ouk Pich Samnang, Tep Narin, Oeu Narith, An Bathom, Keo Khim, Roeun Chetra and Sum Puthy.

Yin Kimhuor and Yea Thong, two other CNRP members who did not sign the letter, were also pardoned.

MOST VIEWED

  • Archeologists find ancient phallic statue

    An archeological team has found a metre-long tipless stone linga (penis) of the Hindu deity Shiva in the foundations of a temple in Kratie province’s historical Samphu Borak area, a former capital of the pre-Angkor Empire Chenla period. Thuy Chanthourn, the deputy director of

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police