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Large Prisoner Amnesty Planned for Pchum Ben Holiday


FILE PHOTO - A prisoner holds her daughter during a ceremony at Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 8, 2015.

Each year, Hun Sen announces a list of inmates who he “requests” be released from prison as a goodwill gesture.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has said he is planning a major prisoner amnesty to coincide with a series of holidays that could see as many as 319 convicts released in the coming months.

Each year the premier announces a list of inmates who he “requests” be released from prison as a goodwill gesture.

“This year I want to have a large-scale pardon on Pchum Ben Day, Independence Day and the 20th anniversary of the end of the civil war,” he told a gathering in New York on Saturday.

The Phnom Penh Post reported that some 319 prisoners would be considered for release on Pchum Ben, including two jailed opposition officials, Meach Sovannara and Oum Sam An.

“We have to work hard to unite the Khmer people so Khmers will not break apart. When they [convicts] acknowledge the mistakes we can make, we will do it within our mandate. I have the right to do so... Prison law states that the Prime Minister has the right to request a royal pardon at any time,” he said.

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