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Procédure : 2021/2579(RSP)
Cycle de vie en séance
Cycle relatif au document : B9-0184/2021

Textes déposés :


Débats :

PV 11/03/2021 - 9.3
CRE 11/03/2021 - 9.3

Votes :

Textes adoptés :


PDF 168kWORD 50k


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

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the mass trials against oppostion and civil society in Cambodia</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Emmanuel Maurel</Depute>

<Commission>{The Left}on behalf of The Left Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0183/2021
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.


European Parliament resolution on the mass trials against oppostion and civil society in Cambodia


The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Cambodia,


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


-  having regard to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998,


-  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,


-  having regard to the United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary (1985),


-  having regard to Convention 169 of the ILO on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples,


-  having regard to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions, in particular the Freedom of Association and Trade Union Rights (No. 87) and the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining (No. 98),



-  having regard to the statement of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, of 25 November 2020,


-  having regard to the oral update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, during the 46th session of the Human Rights Council on the recent human rights issues in more than 50 countries of 26 February 2021,


-  having regard to the Constitution of Cambodia, in particular Article 41, which enshrines the rights and freedoms of speech and assembly, and Article 42 on the right to create associations and political parties,


-  having regard to the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement and, including Articles 12 and 15 thereof, on the right of Cambodian peoples to determine their own political future through free and fair elections, and on the human rights of all persons in Cambodia and all Cambodian refugees, respectively,



-  having regard to the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS) of 02 March 2021 on the mass trials conducted against opposition figures in Cambodia,


-  having regard to the Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the UN Secretary-General report on human rights in Cambodia,


-  having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,




  1.   whereas the People’s Party of Cambodia has been in power since 1979, and the Prime Minister, Mr Hun Sen, has held this position since 1998, making him one of the longest serving leaders in the world; whereas the Senate and the National Assembly are also in the hands of the People’s Party of Cambodia, as well as local government positions, making it de facto, a one-party state;


  1.   whereas Cambodia’s human rights situation continues to deteriorate; whereas there are approximately 150 politically motivated cases against politicians, activists, trade union leaders, journalists as well as human rights defenders in Cambodia, notably those affiliated to or supporters of the outlawed opposition party Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP); whereas many flee the country and seek refugee abroad, fearing arrest and detention in Cambodia;


  1.   whereas nine CNRP leaders have been judged in absentia, as they had been denied entry into Cambodia to defend the accusations against them, which compromised their right to a due process; whereas the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Sam Rainsy, Mu Sochua, Eng Chhay, Tioulong Saumura, Men Sothavrin, Ou Chanrith, Ho Vann, Long Ry, and Nuth Romduol to between 20 and 25 years in prison each and have been barred from participating in elections; whereas the varying charges include “plotting”, “incitement to commit a felony”, “inciting military personnel to disobedience”, and “criminal attempt”; whereas many of the charges are linked to the planned return of self-exiled CNRP leaders to Cambodia in 2019, including CNRP co-founder Sam Rainsy’s, which has been categorised by Cambodian authorities as an attempted coup d’état; whereas the prosecutor and the presiding judge have failed to produce individualised evidence against defendants that could demonstrate their guilt; whereas many defendants object to the reports about their “confessions” used during the trial, arguing they were signed or thumb-printed under duress and without legal representation; whereas similar trials are scheduled to continue through March;


  1.   whereas since 2017, the CNRP has faced politically-motivated accusations of being part of a “coloured revolution” allegedly financed by the United States to overthrow the regime; whereas those accusations formed the foundation for the arbitrary banning and dissolution of the CNRP by the Supreme Court in 16 November 2017; whereas since then, many CNRP supporters and leaders have been subjected to arbitrary arrests, detentions, criminal charges, as well as physical attacks, with no credible investigations into the latter;


  1.   whereas the amendments enacted in 2017 to the Law on Political Parties (LPP) that enabled the banning of CNRP remain in force, which grant the Ministry of Interior broad discretion to suspend activities of political parties and to file motions of dissolution of a party to the Supreme Court;


  1.   whereas Sam Bopha and Tith Rorn, two CNRP activists, were killed or died in police custody; whereas no independent investigation into the circumstances of their murders or deaths has been carried out;


  1.   whereas Cambodian authorities pressure neighbouring countries to harass, intimidate, threaten, arrest and detain Cambodian citizens in their territory with connections to CNRP, including in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand;


  1.   whereas according to the press freedom index 2020 of Reporters Without Borders, Cambodia ranks 144 out of 180 countries; whereas Cambodian authorities have escalated their crackdown on critics, and have revoked the licenses of several independent media; whereas Sovann Rithy, reporter and director of online TVFB news site, was arrested for allegedly “inciting to commit a felony” and was sentenced to 18 months in prison; whereas authorities detain journalists, including Ros Sokhet, Sok Oudom and Rath Rott Mon;
  2.   whereas human rights, land rights, women’s rights and environmental rights defenders, trade union leaders, cyber activists and journalists continue to be subjected to increased violence, intimidation, detention and judicial harassment from the state;
  3.   whereas authorities have banned protests organized by, among others, environmental activists and family members calling for the release of political prisoners; whereas authorities have resorted to excessive use of violence against peaceful protesters on various occasions, and arrested peaceful ordinary citizens, human rights and environmental defenders as well as opposition members; whereas in March 2020, authorities arrested four environmental activists, including Ouch Leng, held them incommunicado, and inflicted a bleeding head injury on one of them; whereas despite having been released, criminal investigations against them continue; whereas in September, three young environmental activists from the Mother Nature Cambodia were arrested and sent to pre-trial detention on incitement charges; whereas Rong Chhun, the President of the Independent Cambodian Confederation of Unions, member of the Cambodia Watchdog Council and prominent human rights defender, was arrested, charged with “incitement to commit a felony” and sent to pre-trial detention after taking up the case of farmers in Tbong Khmom whose lands were taken in connection with a border demarcation between Cambodia and Vietnam;


  1.   whereas youth-led protests have occurred regularly across Phnom Penh since Rong Chhun’s arrest, and the authorities have responded with abusive use of force and intimidation; whereas Khmer youth group members and other human rights activists have been charged with ‘incitement to disturb social order’, including Sar Kanika, Tin Nimol, Chhoeun Daravy and Hun Vannak; whereas 11 people, including youth activists, have been arbitrarily detained and charged with incitement for calling for Chhun’s release; whereas young rappers Kea Sokun and Long Putheara have been found guilty of incitement after releasing a song about Cambodia’s sovereignty and social issues;


  1.   whereas COVID-19 has served as a pretext to increase power and restrict fundamental liberties, including restrictions on privacy rights, freedom of assembly, movement, expression and information, as well as intrusive surveillance and control of telecommunications and the media; whereas the recently passed State of Emergency law vaguely defines criminal offenses such as “disrespecting” measures taken by the government, and allows the dissolution of any group, organisation, association or union found guilty of such offenses; whereas the sub-decree on the National Internet Gateway operator signed in February 2021 establishes an operator to collaborate with the government and block or disconnect all network connections that affect “social order, dignity, culture, traditions and customs”; whereas penalties and fines under the state of emergency are disproportionate; whereas dozens of civil society groups have issued a statement calling for the government to immediately amend the State of Emergency law;


  1.   whereas in the 2019 Gender Equality Index of Human Development Reports, Cambodia ranked 117 out of 162 countries, and in 2020, it ranked 89 out of 155 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum; whereas as a result of measures addressing the health crisis, about one-third of Cambodia’s factories of the textile industry have temporarily or permanently closed down, leaving about 89% of the female workforce without income, making them more vulnerable to violence and less likely to have access to remittances, savings or insurance that could help them in emergencies; whereas during the pandemic, Cambodian women are being increasingly subjected to abuse, violence and exploitation; whereas human trafficking remains a serious problem, and trafficking of “brides” to China has exacerbated within the framework of economic desperation;


  1.   whereas the European Commission has temporarily and partially withdrawn Cambodia’s preferential access to the EU market under the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) trade scheme; whereas the EBA trade agreement has contributed greatly to the increase of human rights violations, the exacerbation of inequalities and child labor exploitation in Cambodia; whereas EBA also incentivized the “Economic Land Concession” plan of Cambodia, under which thousands of people were forcibly evicted as a result of the massive expansion of the industrial sugar plantations, and environmentally protected areas were destroyed;




  1.   Expresses its serious concern about the deterioration of the political situation and the intensification of repression in Cambodia, while condemns particularly the recent mass trials that are taking place against political opposition, trade unionists, civil society, as well as human rights, land rights and environmental defenders;


  1.   Urges the Cambodian authorities to urgently take the necessary steps to comply with its human rights obligations, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the rights enshrined in Cambodia’s Constitution, in particular with respect to the right to political participation, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the right to a fair trial; asks them to take the necessary steps to ensure a safe civil and political environment by the 2022 commune elections and 2023 national elections;


  1.   Urges the Cambodian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners, drop all charges and restore their political rights, including activists, human rights defenders, journalists as well as supporters and leaders of the CNRP Sam Rainsy, Mu Sochua, Ho Vann, Eng Chhai Eang, Tioulong Saumura, Tob Van Chan, Men Sothavrin, Ou Chanrith, Ho Vann, Long Ry, and Nuth Romduol; condemns that the trial of CNRP co-founder Kem Sokha, released on restrictive bail, remains indefinitely suspended and his petitions for a resumption of the proceedings rejected; calls on Cambodian authorities to drop the baseless treason charges against Mr Sokha, remove his bail conditions, reinstate his political rights, and fulfil his right to reparation;


  1.   Calls on Cambodian authorities to respect the separation of powers and guarantee the independence of the judiciary, in particular with regards to transparent and fair trials, the right to be presumed innocence until proven guilty and the right to a due process; calls on Cambodian authorities to reconsider overly broad definitions of “plotting”, “incitement to commit a felony”, “inciting military personnel to disobedience”, and “criminal attempt”; denounces the worldwide tendency to misuse law and judiciary systems to prosecute and silence political opponents, trade unionists, environmental and human rights activists, known as lawfare;


  1.   Condemns the persecution against political dissidence, the dissolution of CNRP, and the unfounded and politically-motivated accusations of its alleged plotting against the regime; urges Cambodian authorities to reinstate the CNRP and to overturn convictions based on politically-motivated and baseless charges and restore the political rights of the accused, including the prohibition of the 118 leaders of CNRP to exercise political activities; urges the authorities to put an end all politically motivated trials;


  1.   Urges Cambodian authorities to stop pressuring neighbouring countries to harass, intimidate, threaten, arrest and detain Cambodian citizens with connections to CNRP;


  1.   Urges Cambodian authorities to investigate into the murders or deaths of Sam Bopha and Tith Rorn, and to ensure justice, accountability and redress;


  1.   Calls on Cambodian authorities to end the relentless campaign of persecution against, among others, the opposition, activists, journalists, trade unionists as well as human rights and environmental defenders; calls on Cambodian authorities to ensure a diversity of voices in the public sphere and to guarantee that everyone has the right to engage in public affairs, to associate with others, and to peacefully assemble; particularly, urges the relevant Cambodian authorities to end unfounded criminal investigations against environmental defenders and to permit the peaceful return of self-exiled members of the opposition, including Sam Rainsy;


  1.   Urges Cambodian authorities not to take COVID-19 as a pretext to restrict fundamental liberties, and to put an end to disproportionate penalties and fines; urges the Cambodian Ministry of Health to respect the right to privacy and stop the dissemination of information about individuals who tested positive, including their religion;


  1.   Recalls the obligation to respect international standards and, in particular, ILO Conventions; expresses its concern about the economic instability derived from the COVID-19 crisis in Cambodia; calls on the Cambodian government to create structural solutions for people who have been suspended or dismissed from work, particularly those from communities in poverty; calls on the Cambodian government to suspend the debts of borrowers of microloans who cannot afford to reimburse them, and to prevent coerced land sales; calls on Cambodian authorities to refrain from arresting indebted borrowers and from confiscating their property;


  1.   Reiterates its paramount concern on the situation of women’s rights in Cambodia; urges Cambodian authorities to respect, promote and fulfil women’s human rights and to strengthen their efforts to address women’s oppression; calls on the Cambodian authorities to create solutions for workers of the textile factories that have been closed down, who are mainly women, and to ensure diversified and inclusive opportunities for women to earn an income and sustain their livelihood; urges Cambodian authorities to tackle violence against women and human trafficking, also within the framework of the pandemic;


  1.   Calls on Cambodian authorities to ensure  press freedom and freedom of speech; in this regard, urges Cambodian authorities to authorise back the revoked licenses of independent media, unconditionally release journalists and end the persecution against them;
  2. Urges Cambodian authorities to substantially amend the new state of emergency and to bring it in line with the country’s human rights obligations; urges Cambodian authorities to repeal the sub-decree on the National Internet Gateway operator; urges Cambodian authorities to repeal or substantially amend the Law on Political Parties, the Trade Union Law, as well as the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO) in full compliance with international human rights law and standards; in this regard, urges the authorities to accept and address concerns of CSOs, and to ensure they can conduct their work in a safe environment;
  3. Urges Cambodian authorities to allow the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Special Procedures to fulfil their independent mandates in safety and without interference;
  4.   Takes note of the Commission’s decision to temporarily withdraw Cambodia’s preferential access to the EU market under the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) trade scheme; calls on the European Commission to permanently audit this agreement, in accordance with Article 15, paragraph 1 of the General System of Preferences;


  1.   Calls on the European Commission to continue to monitor the human and labour rights situation in Cambodia, including by attending trials of activists and opposition leaders;


  1. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service, the Governments and the Parliaments of the Member States, the Member States and the Secretary General of the ASEA, the Secretary General of the United Nations and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the Government and the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia.





Dernière mise à jour: 9 mars 2021Avis juridique - Politique de confidentialité