Dhaka: The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) calls for fact-finding missions by the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to the Philippines, Turkey and Venezuela and several other countries on the closing day of the 136th IPU Assembly in Dhaka.
As Venezuela's political crisis worsens, the IPU is calling for a fact-finding mission to the country to look into heightened concerns about the treatment of parliamentarians and parliament itself. The Organization is convinced that a mission is crucial to assess the overall political situation, and discuss with the authorities IPU’s offer to use its good offices to mediate the crisis in the country.
In a resolution adopted at the 136th IPU Assembly in Dhaka, the Organization also said it found the rulings by the Supreme Court to null and void all decisions by the National Assembly as grossly excessive. It also called on all sides to act in good faith to solve the country’s crisis through dialogue.
In a series of other decisions adopted on the closing day of the Assembly, the Organization expressed concern about the cases of MPs in Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The Organization is calling for a mission to the Philippines where it is deeply concerned over the detention of Senator Leila de Lima and the accusations that she was involved in drug trafficking. The Senator has been a vocal critic of President Duterte, leading a series of investigations into alleged extra judicial killings when he was Mayor of Davao city and initiating an inquiry into the alleged summary killings of thousands of alleged drug users and dealers since he took office in June 2016 and waged his war on drugs.
As the Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim remains in jail with little medical care, the Organization reiterated serious doubts about his conviction. The IPU repeats its call for his release and reinstatement as a Member of Parliament. The Organization considers that a follow-up visit to Malaysia is required to address the outstanding concerns and questions.
Despite efforts to organize a fact-finding mission to Turkey, IPU regrets its request has been turned down. It is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation of parliamentarians in the country. It also expressed the hope that a mission could be organized rapidly.
The IPU is alarmed at the escalating harassment of members of the opposition in Cambodia. Since 2014, 15 opposition members have been subjected to arrest, persecution and suspension from Parliament. The Organization is also concerned at the prospect that one opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party, may be dissolved and not allowed to take part in the upcoming election.
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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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A.M. Motaher Hossain
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