European Parliament Resolution on Cambodia Mentions Yorm Bopha, Tim Sakmony

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

22.10.2012
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure on the Situation in Cambodia

José Ignacio Salafranca, Cristian Dan Preda, Bernd Posselt, Elmar Brok, Roberta Angelilli, Mario Mauro, Tunne Kelam, Philippe Boulland, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Sergio Silvestris, Zuzana Roithova, Monica Macovei, Sari Essayah, Giovanni La Via, Csaba Sogor, Laima Liucija Andrikiene, Eduard Kukan and Boguslaw Sonik

on behalf of the EPP Group

B7-000/2012
European Parliament resolution on the Situation in Cambodia
The European Parliament,

– having regard to the 16 July 2012 report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia,

– having regard to the 20 September 2012 report of the United Nations Secretary General on the role and achievements of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in assisting the Government and the people of Cambodia in the promotion and protection of human rights,

– having regard to the 21st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council of 24 September 2012,

– having regard to the joint statement of the Cambodian Civil Society (CSO) of 25 September 2012 to the 19st meeting of the Government Development Partner Coordinating Committee (GDCC) on 26 September 2012 in Phnom Penh,

– having regard to the Statement by the Spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Aston of 1 October 2012 on the sentencing of Human Rights defenders in Cambodia,

– having regard to the recommendations of the EU Election Observation Mission report on National Assembly Elections of 27 July 2008 in Cambodia,

– having regard to the Cambodia – European Community Strategy Paper for the period 2007-2013,

– having regard to the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,

– having regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on Cambodia, especially the one of 21 October 2010,

– having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure;

A. whereas after two decades of conflict and since the Paris Peace Accords in 1991, Cambodia has made significant progress in strengthening democracy, human rights and the rule of law;

B. whereas four human rights defenders Mr Mom Sonando, head of the Association of Democrats of Cambodia and director of the Beehive radio and his co-defendants, Mr Phorn Sreoun, Mr Touch Ream and Mr Kann Sovann were sentenced by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on 1 October 2012;

C. whereas according to human rights organisations, at least 50 activists or peaceful protestors (especially the cases of Yorm Bopha and Tim Sakmony) are known to have been subjected to intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detention or violence between January and September 2012;

D. whereas according to media reports, Mr Chutt Wutty, a Cambodian environmental campaigner, was shot dead by the police on 26 April 2012 and 15-year-old girl was shot dead in Cambodia land protest on 16 May 2012;

E. whereas according to main findings of the UN Special Rapporteur’s report, major flaws exist in the administration of elections in Cambodia and urgent reforms are needed to give Cambodians confidence in the electoral process as the country approaches its general elections in July 2013;

F. whereas following Cambodia’s last national elections, the EU Election Observation Mission in Cambodia concluded that the elections did not meet international standards for democratic elections and called on the Cambodian government to undertake a number of fundamental electoral reforms;

G. whereas land disputes and forced evictions continue unabated featuring the use of force by the authorities and enterprises leading to violent clashes with communities;

H. whereas the EU is Cambodia’s single largest donor;

1. Expresses its concern on the sentencing of four human rights defenders in Cambodia on 1 October 2012 and intimidation, arbitrary arrests, detention and violence reported by the human rights organisations;

2.Stresses that all those responsible for human rights violations should be identified and be held accountable for their actions;

3. Urges the Cambodian government, the National Election Committee and the provincial elections committee to implement the recent UN recommendations to reform the electoral system by ensuring conformance to international standards before, during and after the casting of votes; calls on the European Commission to closely monitor the implementation of the UN recommendations by the Cambodian authorities;

4. Is concerned that increased intolerance towards the exercise of freedom of expression in criticising corruption, impunity and land grabbing is likely to limit the political space available to opposition parties in the run up to the elections;

5. Is concerned about the situation of Sam Rainsy, the leader of the Sam Rainsy Party, convicted on charges that are allegedly politically motivated; urges the Cambodian government and opposition parties to work towards reconciliation in order to enable Sam Rainsy, as the leader of the opposition, to play a full role in Cambodian politics;

6. Notes the decision of Prime Minister of Cambodia to halt new economic land concessions and pledges the review of existing concessions;

7. Calls on the Government of Cambodia to set up a transparent system for land demarcation / land classification and make information about land classification available to the public;

8 Encourages the Cambodian government to continue to strengthen democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms – in particular freedom of expression and assembly;

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

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