PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen says he is considering a "huge amnesty" so the freed prisoners will have a chance to correct their mistakes.

He insisted while meeting with 170,000 garment factory workers Thursday his request for a royal pardon granted to a prisoner who was released in recent days was not because of international pressure.

Hun Sen's government cracked down on critics before the ruling party last month swept elections that were widely seen as lacking credibility. An apparent softening toward his critics has been seen since.

The long-ruling strongman did not identify which prisoners might receive the amnesty, but his reference to 12 of them may refer to 12 opposition party members convicted a few years ago of social unrest.