The Ministry of Justice’s national committee, which is responsible for checking and evaluating convicts for possible clemency, is reviewing a list of 399 names, including those of 43 women, to reduce their prison terms or provide a pardon in conjunction with Khmer New Year.
A proposal to this effect was made after 22 Phnom Penh and provincial committees called for it.
Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap told The Post on Sunday that the national committee received requests from 22 prisons and the committee of the Ministry of Interior (with four correctional Centres) to check and evaluate convicts to reduce their prison terms or provide a pardon.
“Many cases suggested in the request include drug-related crimes. However, our national committee does not allow clemency for drug-related and serious crimes.
“We give clemency to minor offenders, obedient convicts who follow prison rules properly and are close to their release date, and elderly or disabled convicts.
“Those who asked for a pardon are being checked thoroughly. We have finished checking and evaluating and are only waiting for some documents to be completed within next week,” he said.
He said convicts who asked for a pardon were equally considered, whether or not they belonged to a political party. According to court documents, there is no special note of whether convicts are activists of any parties.
“Regardless of their political affiliation, they have equal rights as Cambodian citizens,” he said.
At last year’s Water Festival, the committees assessed 512 convicts for pardoning, including 58 women. After evaluations were completed, the committee proposed Prime Minister Hun Sen and the King provide clemency for 90 convicts, including 17 women.