Long Beach resident Meach Sovanarra was recently released from a Cambodian prison after being granted pardon. Photo courtesy of his Facebook page.

A Cambodian American who has lived in Long Beach for over a decade was released early Tuesday from a Cambodian prison where he has been held for over three years.

Meach Sovanarra was one of 14 political dissenters and members of the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party released from prison after receiving a pardon from the country’s King Norodom Sihamoni, according to Voice of America, a U.S. government-funded international multimedia broadcaster. The group, which was serving between seven and 20 years in prison, received the pardon after apologizing for their actions.

Sovanarra was arrested on charges of insurrection in connection with anti-government protests that turned violent in 2014, according to Radio Free Asia, a nonprofit international broadcasting corporation. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Now he is expected to return to his family in Long Beach in mid-September, his wife Jamie Meach told the Post.

When asked how she felt about her husband’s release, Jamie was hesitant in expressing optimism, saying that Prime Minister Hun Sen, who allowed their release, could change his mind at any time.

“It’s politics,” she said simply.

Sovanarra and his wife arrived in Long Beach in 2003 after he received death threats in Cambodia for his political activism. Later, they opened the Khmer Post in the city’s Cambodia Town.

In a video published by the Cambodian newspaper, the Khmer Times, Sovanarra said he planned to continue his fight.

“The constitution guarantees that the people have rights and freedom of expression,” Sovanarra said in the video. “But this political situation looks dark.”

The opposition party, whose main leader has still not been released, was dissolved last year by the Cambodian government after allegations of uprising. It was the only formidable contender against the prime minister’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party, which claimed to win all parliamentary seats during its July election, according to Radio Free Asia. The prime minister, who was a commander during the Khmer Rouge regime, has been criticized for violating human rights under his authoritarian rule.

Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.