A delegation from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has visited Cambodia to investigate allegations of human rights violations against 12 opposition politicians.
The mission, from IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, met most of the 12, who have made a number of serious allegations including physical assault, threats, intimidation, violation of their freedom of expression and assembly, and the lack of fair trial guarantees and independence of the judiciary in repeated legal procedures against them.
The delegation held a series of high-level meetings with parliamentary, executive and judicial authorities, including the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General. Talks were also held with senior leaders of the governing CPP and opposition CNRP parties, and with representatives of the international community and civil society organizations.
The delegation found all these meetings useful and constructive. It said it was encouraged by plans by the governing and opposition parties for the immediate resumption of political dialogue to find an urgent political solution to the cases, reaffirming the need for international human rights standards and the Cambodian constitutional and legal framework to be respected.
The two-day mission to Cambodia, which ended on 17 February, was aimed at gaining a better understanding of the 12 cases and of the political and human rights contexts in which they occurred, and at finding satisfactory solutions in line with Cambodian and international law.
The delegation members - Bahraini parliamentarian Ali Abdullah Alaradi and Abatalib Gueye of Senegal - will report back to the Committee at the IPU Assembly in Lusaka in March, and will later produce a report containing its conclusions and recommendations, the observations of all relevant stakeholders and any further developments.
The cases under investigation involve Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is currently in exile, Senator Sok Hour Hong, whom the team visited in jail, and 10 others - Chan Cheng, Kong Sophea, Nhay Chamreoun, Mu Sochua, Keo Phirum, Ho Van, Long Ry, Nut Romdoul, Men Sothavarin, Real Khemarin.
IPU has meanwhile renewed its offer to provide all appropriate technical assistance to the Cambodian Parliament to strengthen parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, if the authorities request such assistance.
IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians undertakes missions, with the permission of relevant authorities, where it feels it would be helpful to gather first-hand information, speak to the MPs concerned and hold discussions with officials.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of national parliaments. It works to safeguard peace and drives positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.
For further information, please contact
IPU, Jemini Pandya, Director of Communications
Tel: +41 22 919 41 58/+41 79 217 33 74