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Jailed Opposition Member Cheam Channy Released

Jailed opposition Sam Rainsy party's (SRP) legislator Cheam Channy was released from a military jail after receiving a pardon from King Sihamoni.

The release and a complete pardon for Mr. Cheam and SRP's leader Mr. Sam Rainsy, happen due to the king's intervention and the international criticism especially the U.S.

Buddhists monks chanted buddhist scriptures to ward off evil spirits for Mr. Cheam Channy.

Dozens of well wishers standing in front of the Phnom Penh municipal court cheer as the car carrying Mr. Cheam travels from the prison to the SRP's headquarters.

Mr. Cheam told his supporters that he will be still a lawmaker to serve the people and that he is very happy to be released. He thanks King Sihamoni, former King Sihanouk, Queen Monineath, Prince Ranariddh, Prime Minister Hun Sen, and the international communitywho are instrumental in his release.

King Sihamoni pardons Mr. Cheam Channy and Mr. Sam Rainsy after Mr. Hun Sen appealed to him on Sunday.

Mr. Cheam was sentenced by the military court to 7 years in prison.

Prime Minister Hun Sen called Mr. Sam Rainsy to return home. He also says that the development happens fast because there is no international intervention.

SRP's member of parliament Chea Poch wrote a letter to prince Ranariddh, National Assembly's president, expressing his regret for his action toward the prince. Prince Ranariddh says that he will ask FUNCINPEC's general secretary Prince Sirivudh to write a letter to the court to drop charges against Mr. Sam Rainsy, Mr. Chea Poch, and Mr. Chea Channy.

The prince says that the National Assembly will reconvene in February and the members will vote to restore immunity for the three activists.