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

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia