Interior Minister Says Prison Releases Possible but Fails to Provide Details

Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Wednesday hinted that convicted inmates serving prison sentences could possibly be released to reduce overcrowding, in parallel with judicial reforms announced last week to fast-track trial proceedings for misdemeanors.

At a meeting to discuss human trafficking, Interior Minister Sar Kheng told reporters on Wednesday that prisoners who were close to finishing their prison sentences “will probably be released” to reduce overcrowding and reduce expenditure on prisons. The government has also justified these releases as a way to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus in Cambodia.

He did not detail if this would require the government to issue pardons or commute sentences, which is normally an annual exercise conducted during major religious festivals, the next being Pchum Ben in September.

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