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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Cambodia: notably the case of Mr Kem Sokha

12.9.2017 - (2017/2829(RSP))

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

Cristian Dan Preda, Tunne Kelam, Sandra Kalniete, Pavel Svoboda, Ivan Štefanec, Luděk Niedermayer, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Tomáš Zdechovský, Lefteris Christoforou, Marijana Petir, Claude Rolin, Željana Zovko, Dubravka Šuica, Francis Zammit Dimech, Michaela Šojdrová, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Ivana Maletić, Sven Schulze, László Tőkés, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Milan Zver, Adam Szejnfeld, Elisabetta Gardini, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Roberta Metsola, Joachim Zeller, Eduard Kukan, Seán Kelly, Deirdre Clune, Andrey Kovatchev, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0506/2017

Procedure : 2017/2829(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Cambodia: notably the case of Mr Kem Sokha


The European Parliament,

̵having regard to its previous resolutions on Cambodia,


-  having regards to the Statements by the Spokesperson of the EEAS on developments relating to restrictions of the political space in Cambodia of 25 August 2017 and 3 September 2017,


-  having regard to the Local EU Statement on the closure of Cambodia Daily of 5 September 2017,


̵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,


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


̵having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  whereas Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha, was arrested on 3 September 2017, which appears to have been carried out with no respect for due process guarantees, including respect for his parliamentary immunity;


B.  whereas Kem Sokha has been formally charged with treason for allegedly conspiring with the United States to topple the government, and could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted;


C.  whereas Kem Sokha had been expected to lead the Cambodia National Rescue Party in next year's National Assembly election in a strong challenge against the ruling Cambodian People's Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has held power for three decades;


D.  whereas recent measures taken by the Government of Cambodia have led to the closure of a foreign non-governmental organisation and have targeted media companies, including numerous radio stations and one of the main independent English language newspapers, The Cambodia Daily, which has now been forced to cease publication after 24 years;


1.  Strongly condemns the arrest of Kem Sokha on a number of charges that appear to be politically motivated, and calls on the Cambodian authorities, in view of his parliamentary immunity, to release him immediately;


2.  Deplores public statements by the Prime Minister and high-ranking officials about Kem Sokha’s supposed guilt, which breach the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial to which he is entitled under Cambodian and international human rights law; appeals to the Prime Minister to protect the parliamentary immunity of Members of Parliament;


3.  Expresses its deep concerns about the worsening climate for opposition politicians and human rights activists in Cambodia, and condemns all acts of violence, politically motivated charges, arbitrary detention, questioning, sentences and convictions in respect of these individuals;


4.  Stresses that a credible democratic process leading up to the National Assembly election in July 2018 requires an environment in which political parties, civil society and the media are able to carry out their legitimate roles without fear, threats or arbitrary restrictions;


5.  Expect the authorities of Cambodia to respect the right to due process of all Cambodians and of organisations operating in Cambodia;


6.  Calls on the Government of Cambodia to work towards strengthening democracy and the rule of law and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, which includes fully complying with the constitutional provisions concerning pluralism and freedom of association and expression;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and National Assembly of Cambodia, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, and the UN Human Rights Council.