Phnom Penh (FN), March 5 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen urged Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Women’s Affairs to consider amnesties for women in jail, speaking at the celebration of International Women’s Rights Day on Tuesday where he co-chaired with his wife Bun Rany Hun Sen at Koh Pich.
“Let the two ministries work to grant amnesty to women in jails; and provide legal aids to the convicts who have not been sentenced due to the absences of lawyers,” the Premier stated.
According to Cambodian law, Prime Minister has the rights to propose for amnesty to His Majesty King and that the King will make the final decision whether to grant or not. However, the detainees shall first serve for two-third of the imprisonment term.
Article 77 of Cambodia’s Prison Law stated that “If necessary, Head of the Royal Government has the privilege to request to His Majesty to grant amnesty to convict any time.”
At least, over 2,600 women are currently in jail, according to Ministry of Interior spokesman for the General Prison Department Nuth Savna.
“Female convicts shall be amnestied without awaiting for national holiday,” the Premier underlined.
Amnesty is normally done during three major festivals in Cambodia: Khmer New Year, Water Festival, and Buddha’s Day – Visakha Bochea.
Prime Minister Hun Sen also called on all women to seek legal aids from “Samdech Hun Sen Legal Team”, a recent establishment of 50 lawyers, headquartered at the Council of Ministers, to provide free legal services to poverty-stricken women nationwide.
“Now we have new characters, my lawyers, who will protect poor women,” he addressed today.
“If you [workers] have legal issues, do not forget to seek my team. I cover all the fees,” Prime Minister stated in a meeting with approximately 10,000 garment workers in Kandal’s Ang Snoul district.