Cambodia releases jailed minor opposition chief

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) — Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni on Thursday signed a royal decree to grant a pardon to Sourn Serey Ratha, jailed president of minor opposition Khmer Power Party. 
In the royal decree, the monarch granted amnesty to convict Sourn Serey Ratha, 45, who was convicted in last August of inciting soldiers to disobey orders and was sentenced to five years in prison. 
“Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, must take responsibility to implement this royal decree from the day of signature,” the king wrote. 
Hun Sen said during a get-together with thousands of garment factory workers in southern Kandal province on Thursday morning that he would ask the king to deliver pardons to 12 opposition prisoners, who had been convicted in the last few years for causing social unrest. 
He said every amnesty is made because of “mercy, not international pressure.”

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