The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has welcomed several positive developments on three cases involving the abuses of the human rights of MPs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Iraq. IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has been working on the cases to seek redress and protection of the MPs.
In the DRC, IPU has greeted a decision by authorities that enables former MP Pierre Jacques Chalupa to travel abroad for urgently-needed medical attention and then return to the country. IPU had made a fresh appeal for travel documents to be granted to Chalupa in a resolution adopted recently at its Assembly in Lusaka, Zambia.
Chalupa received his passport after the intervention of the Speaker of the National Assembly Aubin Minaku, following the IPU call for action in Lusaka. The former MP had in effect been left stateless after being found guilty of forgery and use of falsified documents. IPU, which has been examining Chalupa’s case for four years, believes the 2012 trial was characterized by serious irregularities.
IPU is particularly pleased by the positive role parliamentary authorities, including the Speaker of the National Assembly, have played in the positive outcome.
“We sincerely hope that the granting of a passport signals that the issue of Mr. Chalupa’s statehood has been resolved, and his Congolese nationality has been formally recognized,” says IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong.
The reported release from prison of former Iraqi MP Mohamed Al-Dainy and the granting of prison visits to family and lawyers of MP Ahmed Al-Alwani, have also been applauded by IPU.
IPU continues to call for the lifting of the death sentence against Al-Alwani. The MP was convicted of terrorism for killing two soldiers during a raid on his home in 2013 to arrest him. He has strongly denied the charges and was allegedly tortured in detention before his trial.
IPU hopes the release of former MP Mohamed Al-Dainy following a presidential pardon last month will also mark the end of all outstanding proceedings against him. Al-Dainy, who had actively investigated the existence of secret detention facilities and detention conditions in Iraq as a member of the Iraqi Parliament’s human rights committee, had had his parliamentary immunity lifted following accusations that he masterminded a suicide bombing of parliament in 2007. He was subsequently convicted on terrorism charges and sentenced to death in 2010 in a trial which IPU had declared a travesty of justice.
The Iraqi Parliament reached similar conclusions after establishing a parliamentary commission of inquiry. In 2012, it recommended that his case be reviewed by the High Judicial Council. A retrial last year found Al-Dainy innocent. However, he had been kept in detention while other charges and investigations were still pending against him.
IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which works to protect or seek redress for MPs whose rights have been abused, is currently investigating more than 280 cases around the world.
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.
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