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Procedure : 2016/2753(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0768/2016

Texts tabled :

B8-0768/2016

Debates :

Votes :

PV 09/06/2016 - 4.1

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0274

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 163kWORD 76k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0753/2016
7.6.2016
PE596.934v01-00
 
B8-0768/2016

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure


on Cambodia (2016/2753(RSP))


Cristian Dan Preda, Tomáš Zdechovský, Andrej Plenković, Davor Ivo Stier, József Nagy, Elisabetta Gardini, Romana Tomc, Jarosław Wałęsa, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Tunne Kelam, Lefteris Christoforou, Marijana Petir, Ivana Maletić, Dubravka Šuica, Stanislav Polčák, Pavel Svoboda, Patricija Šulin, Therese Comodini Cachia, Csaba Sógor, Sven Schulze, Andrey Novakov, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Jeroen Lenaers, Roberta Metsola, Ivan Štefanec, Adam Szejnfeld, Milan Zver, Michaela Šojdrová, Luděk Niedermayer, Claude Rolin, Jaromír Štětina, Eduard Kukan, Jiří Pospíšil, Thomas Mann, Brian Hayes, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, Francisco José Millán Mon, Andrey Kovatchev on behalf of the PPE Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Cambodia (2016/2753(RSP))  
B8‑0768/2016

The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Cambodia, especially the ones of 26 November 2015 on the political situation in Cambodia, of 9 July 2015 on Cambodia’s draft laws on NGOs and trade unions and of 16 January 2014 on the situation of rights defenders and opposition activists in Cambodia and Laos,

-having regard to the Local EU statement on the political situation in Cambodia of 30 May 2015,

-having regard to the joint statement of Mr. Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mr. David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and Ms. Rhona Smith, UN Special Rapporteur on Cambodia of 16 May 2016,

-having regard to the Resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Cambodia of 2 October 2015,

-having regard to the UN Human Rights Committee’s concluding observations of 27 April 2015 on the second periodic report of Cambodia,

-having regard to the 2008 EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,

-having regard to the 1997 Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Cambodia,

-having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, to which Cambodia is a state party,

-having regard to Article 35 of the Cambodian Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of association and the freedom to participate actively in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the nation,

-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

A. whereas after opposition party deputy leader Kem Sokha was removed from his position as First Vice-President of the National Assembly, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), in October 2015, he has been consequently accused of defamation, and accusation which has been described as politically motivated;

B. whereas on 3 May, the Phnom Municipal Court summoned Kem Sokha regarding the charge on criminal defamation, as well as MPs, Pin Ratana and Tok Vanchan, notwithstanding the fact that they enjoy immunity;

C. whereas on 12 May, the well-known political analyst Ou Virak, was also summoned about charges of defamation after expressing his opinion about the Kem Sokha case;

D. whereas in the last months there has been a steady increase of arrests of political opposition members, human rights activists and representatives of civil society;

E. whereas on 2 May 2016, four staff members of the NGO ADHOC, Ny Sokha, Nay Vanda, Yi Soksan and Lim Mony, as well as the former ADHOC employee and current deputy secretary general of the national election committee, Ny Chakrya, were arrested and charged with bribing a witness in the Kem Sokha case;

F. whereas on 2 May authorities were seeking the arrest of UNOHCHR employee Sally Soen, despite the immunity offered to him as a UN employee and whereas he was charged as accomplice to bribery of a witness;

G. whereas on 9 May, eight persons peacefully protesting against the arrests of the ADHOC staff members, amongst them, Ee Sarom, director of the NGO Sahmakun Teang Tnaut, Khimsan Thav and Deputy Director of the NGO LICADHO, as well as a Swedish and German advisor to LICADHO were arrested and set free shortly afterwards; whereas on 16 May, the same happened to five peaceful demonstrators;

H. whereas the people arrested during the peaceful “Black Monday” demonstrations had to sign a document before their release that they would refrain from further illegal activities;

I. whereas the Cambodian Prime Minister has been in power for over thirty years and there is a crackdown on dissent amid challenge to his rule;

J.whereas, according to our knowledge, currently 19 opposition activists are serving prison sentences, most between 7 and 20 years for participating in or leading an “insurrection”;

 

K.whereas the right to freedom of expression is established in Article 41 of the Cambodian Constitution and the right of political participation in Article 35 thereof;

 

L.whereas despite widespread criticism from civil society and the international community, the recent promulgation of the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) has given state authorities arbitrary powers to shut down and block the creation of human rights organizations;

 

M.whereas since the approval of the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) in 2015 authorities have refused permission for large scale public advocacy events led by NGOs and in the past seven months, events held in conjunction with World Habitat Day, International Human Rights Day, International Women’s Day and International Labour Day have all been disrupted by police forces to varying extents, as have other demonstrations;

 

N.whereas the Cambodian Senate adopted the Law on Trade Unions on 12 April 2016;

 

O.whereas the International Labour Organization (ILO) drew the government’s attention to several key concerns and gaps in the Law on Trade Unions;

 

P.whereas the EU is Cambodia’s largest partner in terms of development assistance, with a new allocation for the 2014-2020 period of EUR 410 million; whereas the EU supports a wide range of human rights initiatives carried out by Cambodian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other civil society organisations; whereas Cambodia is highly dependent on development assistance;

 

1. Expresses its deep concerns about the worsening climate for opposition politicians and human rights, social and environmental activists in Cambodia and condemns all acts of violence and politically motivated charges, arbitrary detentions, questioning, sentences and convictions against these persons;

 

2. Expresses its deep concern that the constant increase of politically motivated actions and arrests against members of NGOs is used to incapacitating well known Cambodian NGOs, to silence critics and to intimidate civil society by these actions;

 

3. Condemns the crackdown and blocking by the government of peaceful political demonstrations and the attempt to label them as an anarchist revolution to justify excessive police force;

 

4. Urges the Cambodian authorities to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judiciary to end political use of the courts to prosecute people on politically-motivated and trumped-up charges and to ensure a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders and civil society;

 

5. Urges the Government of Cambodia to recognise the legitimate and useful role played by civil society, trade unions and the political opposition in contributing to Cambodia’s overall economic and political development;

6. Calls on the National Assembly to cease all efforts to supress peaceful civil society activism and to respect its citizens’ right to freedom expression;

7. Calls on the National Assembly and authorities to respect the parliamentary immunity of all Members of Parliament; calls to enhance “culture of dialogue” between all political parties;

8. Encourages the government to work towards strengthening democracy, the rule of law, the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms including the constitutional provisions concerning pluralism and freedom of association and expression;

 

9. Recalls that a non-threatening environment of democratic dialogue is essential for political stability, democracy and a peaceful society in the country and urges the government to take all necessary measures to ensure the security of all democratically elected representatives of Cambodia, irrespective of their political affiliation;

10. Stresses that in view to the upcoming communal and presidential elections in 2017 and 2018, all political parties need to be able to lead their election campaign free of interference and pressure from the current government; highlights the importance of an EU Election Observation Mission adding to fair and free elections;

11. Welcomes the National Election Committee (NEC) reformation through an amendment to the Constitution following the July 2014 agreement between CPP and the CNRP on electoral reforms; highlights that NEC now consists of four CPP representatives, four CNRP representatives and one representative of civil society;

12.Urges the Cambodian government to abrogate the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO), the recent promulgation of which has given state authorities arbitrary powers to shut down and block the creation of human rights-defending organizations and has already begun deterring human rights defense work in Cambodia;

13. Calls on government authorities to drop prosecutions against opposition politicians and activists and human rights defenders under other laws in force and to immediately and unconditionally release all those jailed on politically motivated and trumped-up charges;

14. Stresses that the Law on Trade Unions includes very little input from independent labour unions and may not be compliant with ILO standards on freedom of association; underlines that the ILO places heavy emphasis on tripartite engagement in the development of labour legislation; reiterates its call on the Government of Cambodia to withdraw the Law on Trade Unions;

15. Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, EU Member States, European External Action Service, the Commission in line with the EU’s Strategic Framework on human rights and democracy, to constantly raise the above concerns and recommendations with Cambodian authorities;

16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the UN Human Rights Council, and the Government and National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

 

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