Cambodia plans to return Lao, Thai prisoners to their home countries to serve out the rest of their sentence before Khmer New Year in mid-April.
During Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Laos on 13 February, he said that Cambodia plans to send both Lao and Thai prisoners back to their nations to serve out the remainder of their sentences.
Minister of Justice Koeut Rith and Thai ambassador to Cambodia Cherdkiat Atthakor, also talked about the issue during a meeting on 22 February.
The two sides discussed the extradition, stating that the process will be in line with the treaty signed by both Thailand and Cambodia. Prime Minister Hun Sen has also asked his Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior to work on the issue with Laos.
Nouth Savna, a spokesperson for the General Department of Prison (GDP) in Cambodia said that the GDP is preparing all documents by extradition procedures and that extraditions are important because they are a humanitarian right, the Phnom Penh Post reports.
“In reality, no one wants to be jailed in another country, they want to be sent back home where their relatives can come to see them. Our government leaders have leniency and this is a humanitarian gesture for them. It also makes our prisons less crowded,” he said.
He added that extraditions are voluntary, and prisoners that wish to remain where they are can.
According to the Vientiane Times, there are a total of 75 Lao prisoners in Cambodia, among them only three are women and a majority of the inmates are serving time for drug offenses.
Following PM Hun Sen’s official visit last week, Laos and Cambodia also plan to strengthen relations, to further economic and trade development between the two countries.