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Motion for a resolution - B9-0178/2023Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Cambodia: the case of opposition leader Kem Sokha

14.3.2023 - (2023/2589(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 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Željana Zovko Michaela Šojdrová Michael Gahler Isabel Wiseler‑Lima David McAllister Ivan Štefanec Peter Pollák Vladimír Bilčík Vangelis Meimarakis Stelios Kympouropoulos Krzysztof Hetman Tomáš Zdechovský David Lega Eugen Tomac
on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0169/2023

Procedure : 2023/2589(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Cambodia: the case of opposition leader Kem Sokha


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Cambodia,

 having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas on 3 September 2017, Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha was arrested and charged for “conspiring with a foreign power” and whereas later the Supreme Court of Cambodia announced the dissolution of the largest opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) for plotting to topple the government in anticipation of the 2018 election;

B. whereas on 3 March 2023 the verdict was delivered by the Municipal Court in the case against Kem Sokha who was given 27 years of jail time, temporarily allowed to serve in house arrest and whose political rights to vote and to stand for election were indefinitely suspended;

C. whereas the verdict was announced in the midst of an intense crackdown on political opposition ahead of the general elections on 23 July 2023; whereas several senior leaders of the Candlelight Party have been hit by lawsuits from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP)  and the National Election Commission;

D. whereas Prime Minister Hun Sen has been almost uninterruptedly in power for 38 years and the ruling party holds absolute power over the state and legislative bodies;

E. whereas at least 39 political opposition members, supporters and activists are currently in prisons after being arbitrarily arrested on bogus charges, solely for exercising their human rights and dozens of CNRP members were sentenced since 2017 in mass trials that denied them the right to a fair trial;

1. Expresses its deep concern about the conviction of and the 27-year sentence for Kem Sokha; calls on the authorities to immediately release him and reinstate his political rights;

2. Calls on the authorities to put an end to all forms of harassment, intimidation and politically motivated criminal charges against members of the opposition, trade unionist, human right defenders, the media and civil society actors;

3. Calls on the authorities to release all prisoners of conscience and prisoners who are detained for conducting their legitimate work or exercising their rights on baseless accusations;

4. Calls on the authorities to guarantee the conditions that are essential for the holding of just, fair and transparent elections and to respect basic rights in accordance with the Cambodian constitution;

5. Calls on the authorities to allow all Cambodians to enjoy their universal human rights of peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, participation in building a truly democratic system and the rule of law;

6. Calls on the Vice‑President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the Commission to monitor the situation in Cambodia, to ensure that the Candlelight Party is not dissolved and to be prepared to use all tools available should independent  electoral observers find evidence of unfair elections;

7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the VP/HR, and the Government and National Assembly of Cambodia.



Last updated: 14 March 2023
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