Parliamentary body concerned for rights of Cambodia MPs

Inter-Parliamentary Union says ‘no progress’ made in resolving cases against opposition members on various charges

Parliamentary body concerned for rights of Cambodia MPs

World Bulletin / News Desk

Court cases against 13 members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and two senators from the Sam Rainsy Party have been flagged as causes of deep concern for a body that promotes the rights of parliamentarians to carry out their work without fear of persecution.

The Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) said late Tuesday that it noted “with consternation that no progress has been made in resolving the cases and that the situation has further escalated” in Cambodia.

The remarks were part of a decision adopted late last month by the IPU.

Two IPU committee members visited Cambodia in February in what it referred to as a “visit of last resort” because, despite “extensive time” having been given for Cambodia’s ruling and opposition parties to negotiate a solution to their impasse, both have failed.

The cases against the lawmakers, senators and leaders range from charges of leading an insurrection; accusations of treason; defamation cases and an organized assault against two of CNRP members.

“A total of 15 opposition parliamentarians, including the leaders of the main opposition party, continue to face serious violations of their fundamental rights and are therefore being prevented from effectively playing their role as parliamentarians and members of the opposition freely without fear of persecution, particularly given the fast-approaching local and national elections,” the IPU said, adding that Cambodian authorities need to respect parliamentary immunity.

The release of the paper coincides this week with the first anniversary of CNRP leader Sam Rainsy’s latest year in exile.

He failed to return to Cambodia in November 2015 when, during a visit abroad, the government reignited an old defamation case and prison sentence against him.

Since then, the IPU said, Rainsy “has been targeted by an ever-increasing number of court cases initiated against him”.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Last Mod: 16 Kasım 2016, 14:32
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