Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Only seven slated for Water Festival pardons

Only seven slated for Water Festival pardons

Pardoned prisoners prepare to be released from Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison early last year.
Pardoned prisoners prepare to be released from Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison early last year. Vireak Mai

Only seven slated for Water Festival pardons

Just seven people have been recommended for pardons by a government committee that yesterday finished assessing some 560 applications for early release ahead of November’s Water Festival, a dramatic reduction from the 106 to receive clemency last year.

But with many high-profile inmates currently being held in the Kingdom’s prisons, officials yesterday declined to offer details on who made the list.

Pardons and reduced sentencing committee spokesperson Kim Santepheap yesterday refused to say whether inmate Seng Chenda, convicted of the attempted murder of Transport Minister Sun Chanthol’s wife and daughter in 2011, was among the seven after having been recommended for a pardon by National Assembly President Heng Samrin.

When asked about opposition party prisoners, he stressed that those selected for potential release were not assessed on their political tendencies. “I want to inform that in each verdict, there is no information related to the political tendency of the inmates as the law must be implemented for everyone who violates the law,” Santepheap said in a message late yesterday. “Among all the inmates, I don’t know whose party they belong to.”

The committee revealed it would also recommend 88 people receive a reduced sentence. Of those, 17 people will be eligible for a year’s reduction on their sentence. Eighteen people could see their jail time reduced by nine months, and 46 could see a six-month reprieve.

Am Sam Ath, technical adviser for Licadho, noted that the relatively small number of pardon cases meant that “irregularities” in the pardons process may also be on the decline.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the