Cambodia: Democracy and rule of law under scrutiny by European Parliament

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In its resolution of September 13, 2018, the European Parliament (EP) called on the government to end the harassment and politically motivated criminal charges against the political opposition, human rights defenders, trade unionists, labour and land rights advocates and journalists, among others. The EP deplored the house arrest of former opposition leader, Kem Sokha, following his release on bail after a year of arbitrary detention, and reiterated their call for all charges to be dropped and for his full and immediate release. The EP firmly denounced the sham 2018 elections, condemned by the international community at large, calling on the Cambodian government to reverse the dissolution of the CNRP to ensure a credible democratic process and on the EEAS and the Commission to compile a list of those responsible for the dissolution of the opposition and other serious human rights violations with a view to imposing visa restrictions and asset freezes. It calls on the EU to act for a strong resolution on the human rights situation in Cambodia at the forthcoming UN Human Rights Council.

FIDH and its member leagues, ADHOC and LICADHO, further to their background briefings, provided the latest grassroots information prior to the adoption of the urgent resolution which is echoed throughout, namely the case of the five human rights defenders from ADHOC (known as The5KH) sentenced to a 5-year suspended sentence after 14 months in pre-trial detention. Moreover, FIDH has systematically advocated for the use of EBA leverage to sanction grave and systematic human rights violations in Cambodia, a call that the EP’s resolution sends to the Commission which can launch an investigation within the EBA framework. The EP expects a prompt presentation of the conclusions of the recent EU-EBA fact finding mission.

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