The President of the Lao PDR has granted pardons to 1,450 reformed prisoners around the country to mark the 41st anniversary of National Day which fell on December 2.
The pardons were granted under the authority of the presidential pardon announced in Vientiane recently, where long serving or well behaved prisoners have received outright pardons or reductions to their sentences.
Out of 1,450 prisoners across the country, 1,123 people (including 25 foreign prisoners) have had their sentences reduced while another 327 have been freed immediately after already serving long sentences. Most of the prisoners were involved in drug related crimes, according to a recent report from the Ministry of Public Security.
The pardoned prisoners were originally sentenced for offences including drug dealing, theft, robbery, human trafficking and other crimes.
In Vientiane alone, the ministry last week released and pardoned 436 reformed prisoners. Out of the 436 prisoners, 333 people (including 13 foreign prisoners) have had their sentences reduced while103 have been freed immediately.
The ministry has also reduced the sentences of 204 reformed prisoners from life to 20 years because of their good behaviour. The pardon demonstrates the right and just policies of the Party and state of Laos, especially in terms of enforcing the law according to the particular circumstances of the province, and administering justice in a strict but fair manner.
The Party and state have a responsibility to promote the Lao People’s Democratic regime and to maintain order in society, with the Party considered as the leader, the government as the supervisor and the people as the owners, he said.
Under this approach, national socio-economic growth is continuing and the livelihoods of Laos’ multi-ethnic people have gradually improved, and this is especially true for people around the country. The Party and state have issued many laws and regulations to protect the country and the public, and if anyone breaks these rules they will punished according to the law, he said.
Those prisoners who have been given pardons need to contribute positively to the development of the country, especially in regard to complying with laws and regulations to help preserve defence, security, and respect for the state. All the pardoned prisoners need to follow the policies of the Party and state, and contribute positively to society. Thus, they all need to become good citizens who work to contribute to national development.
Source: Vientiane Times