Almost 600 prisoners who had hoped to be granted royal pardons during Visak Bochea celebrations on May 2 have been assured that their sentences are still being reviewed and they can expect a decision later this week.
General Be Tea Leng of the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Prisons said yesterday that 572 inmates from 17 provinces and four correctional centres had been put forward to have their sentences reviewed in time for Visak Bochea Day, but the process had been too slow.
Although pardons are meant to be offered every year on Visak Bochea Day – as with Khmer New Year and Water Festival – Tea Leng said the government had not been able to organise the pardons in time this year.
He blamed this on a particularly lengthy Khmer New Year break and the fact that officials were busy working on pardons of imprisoned pregnant women after a special request from Prime Minister Hun Sen in February.
“I acknowledge the emotional toll on inmates who are still waiting for the pardon and sentence review due to the slow process,” he said.