Addressing to 15,763 workers in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that he will not request for pardons for former opposition members, as they chose a leader with lacked of experience in politics and limited patience.
The statement was made to warn Sam Rainsy, former opposition leader and the founder of Cambodia National Rescue Movement (CNRM), for encouraging people to burn the premier’s photos and effigy against his presence in Australia during the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney.
“You passed the red light by burning my photos and effigy. You should be more patient and ask for negotiation instead. This indicates that you are lack of experience in politics,” said the premier.
“When I granted pardon to Hong Sok Hour, they said it was pressured by the international community… I did so, as there was an apology letter. If they think like that, I won’t grant pardon anymore,” he added.
There were at least 10 former members of the opposition party subsequently arrested after committing various criminal offenses.
Meach Sovannara, the media director for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, was arrested in November 11, 2014, charged of a violence in Freedom Park, Phnom Penh. Opposition lawmaker Um Sam An was arrested in Siem Reap in April 11, 2016, charged of fomenting fraudulent public documents such as the Border Treaty. Hong Sok Hour was arrested in August 2015, but was released in October 25, 2017 after the King granted royal pardon requested by Prime Minister Hun Sen. Kem Sokha, former leader of the opposition party, was arrested for committing treason.