Daily Archives: 13/09/2018

#Breaking #EPlenary debate on #Cambodia : L’UE est prête à prendre des mesures appropriées si la situation ne change pas @FedericaMog

Regarder le débat aujourd’hui au Parlement Européen sur le cas de KEM Sokha.

Speech by HR/VP Mogherini on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law – the situation in Cambodia

 

The last year has seen significant steps backwards for Cambodia’s fragile democracy: one-party rule, authoritarian tendencies that have gained more ground in the country, and the space for political opposition and civil society has not just shrunk, it has simply closed.

At the general election in July, following the enforced dissolution of the main opposition party [Cambodia National Rescue Party], the ruling party won all seats in the National Assembly.

The election took place in a highly restrictive environment and it was clearly not representative of the democratic will of the Cambodian citizens.

Last February, at the EU Foreign Affairs Council, we stressed that the Cambodian electoral process could not be considered legitimate, after the arbitrary exclusion of the main opposition party. So, we suspended the European Union’s financial assistance to the Cambodian National Election Committee and we declined to observe the July elections.

Over the last year, the legal system has increasingly been used by the authorities in the country to suppress critical voices, not only from the opposition but also from civil society and the media.

At the Foreign Affairs Council in February, we stated that it may consider specific targeted measures if the situation had not improved. So, the situation has not improved and we are now considering the possibility of further measures that as you know, would require the Council to take a unanimous decision.

We also recalled that respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including labour rights, is essential for maintaining EU trade preferences.

For this reason, we sent already in July a Fact-Finding Mission to Cambodia to evaluate the situation on the ground. Decisions on any further steps will be based on the information gathered during this mission.

The European Union has been working with and for the people of Cambodia since the end of the war. At first we helped to rebuild the country, we helped clear it from landmines, and restart fundamental economic activities. Today we support job creation and vocational training.

We would like this partnership to continue, in order to continue to benefit the people of Cambodia; but it is clear that Cambodian government has to reverse the current trend, otherwise this would not be possible.

The recent release on bail of opposition leader Kem Sokha is a positive first step, even though he was released under very restrictive conditions. We now expect the dropping of all charges and the removal of all restrictions placed upon him and we invite the Prime Minister [of Cambodia] and the leader of the opposition to start a dialogue on the way forward.

We urge the Cambodian authorities to drop all remaining politically-motivated charges against activists, and lift the ban on political activity of 118 senior opposition members. Local councillors from the opposition who were elected in June last year should be reinstated.

We also call on the Cambodian government to guarantee the safe return of all exiled opposition politicians, civil society activists and human rights defenders who have fled the country to avoid arrest.

The laws and regulations that have been used to restrict opposition and civil society must be reviewed and amended.

In the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, the Cambodian government had agreed to a legally binding obligation to maintain a pluralistic and democratic system. We now expect Cambodian authorities to restore free political debate and competition, and to respect the space for a free and independent civil society.

If we continue to see this negative trend without any changes – as I said – we are ready, in the Council, to take appropriate measures.

Thank you.

 

 

Communiqué de Presse du PE

Cambodia must drop all charges against opposition politician Kem Sokha

Following widespread and systematic repression of the political opposition and electoral rights in Cambodia, the European Parliament urges its government to put an end to all forms of harassment and politically-motivated charges and rulings against politicians, human rights defenders, trade unionists, civil society activists and journalists. Parliament also expresses its serious concerns over the conduct and results of the 2018 elections, which failed to produce a credible process, and underlines that this electoral procedure cannot be considered free and fair.

MEPs demand that the Cambodian authorities drop all charges against prominent opposition leader Kem Sokha, and call for his immediate and full release from house arrest. This also goes for all other politicians, including Sam Rainsy, who have been charged, detained or imprisoned for the same reasons.

Parliament also asks the European External Action Service and the European Commission to compile a list of individuals responsible for the dissolution of the Cambodian opposition and other serious human rights violations in the country, with the aim of imposing possible visa restrictions and asset freezes on them.

The resolution was approved by a show of hands.

 

Tous les intervenants ont demandé des actions concrètes contre le Régime de HUN Sen.

L’UE est prête à prendre des mesures appropriées si la situation ne change pas  a conclu Mme Federica Mogherini en fin de débat.

Des sanctions seront donc prises contre le régime de HUN Sen.

13 Sep 2018

#EP : Joint Motion For a Resolution on #Cambodia, notably the case of Kem Sokha

JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

Go back to the Europarl portal

1.  Notes that Kem Sokha was released from prison on bail under strict conditions; denounces the fact that Kem Sokha has been placed under house arrest; calls for all charges against Kem Sokha to be dropped and for his immediate and full release; calls, furthermore, for other politically motivated charges and rulings against opposition politicians, including Sam Rainsy, to be dropped immediately;

2.  Is worried about the condition of Kem Sokha’s health, and calls on the Cambodian authorities to allow him to receive appropriate medical treatment; asks the Government to allow Kem Sokha to meet foreign diplomats, UN officials and human rights observers;

3.  Expresses its conviction that the elections in Cambodia cannot be considered to be free and fair; expresses serious concerns at the conduct and results of the 2018 elections in Cambodia, which failed to produce a credible process and were widely condemned by the international community;

4.  Calls on the Cambodian Government 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 on pluralism and freedom of association and expression; calls, furthermore, on the Cambodian Government to repeal all recent amendments to the Constitution, the Penal Code, the Law on Political Parties, the Trade Union Law, the Law on NGOs and all other pieces of legislation limiting freedom of speech and political freedoms that are not fully in line with Cambodia’s obligations and international standards;

5.  Stresses that a credible democratic process 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; calls on the Government to take the necessary measures to ensure that the dissolution of CNRP is swiftly reversed;

6.  Reiterates its call on the Cambodian Government to put an end to all forms of harassment, abuse and politically motivated criminal charges against members of the political opposition, human rights defenders, trade unionists and labour rights advocates, land rights and other civil society activists, and journalists, among others; calls on the Government of Cambodia to release, without delay, all citizens who have been detained for exercising their human rights, including James Ricketson, and to drop all charges against them;

7.  Supports the decision to suspend EU electoral support to Cambodia; recalls the national and international obligations in relation to democratic principles and fundamental human rights to which Cambodia has committed itself; urges the Cambodian Government to engage in reforms in order to advance democracy and apply internationally recognised minimum standards for future electoral processes, including the organisation of multiparty, free and fair elections, the establishment of a genuinely independent National Election Committee and the involvement of NGOs and the independent media in election monitoring and reporting;

8.  Reminds the Cambodian Government that it must fulfil its obligations and commitments in relation to the democratic principles and fundamental human rights, which are an essential component of the EU-Cambodia Cooperation Agreement and the conditions under EBA;

9.  Welcomes the recent EU EBA fact‑finding mission to Cambodia and invites the Commission to report the conclusions to Parliament as soon as possible; calls on the Commission to consider possible consequences in the context of the trade preferences Cambodia enjoys, including launching an investigation under the mechanisms provided for in the framework of EBA;

10.  Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to compile a list of individuals responsible for the dissolution of the opposition and other serious human rights violations in Cambodia with a view to imposing possible visa restrictions and asset freezes on them;

11.  Calls on the Vice‑President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to closely monitor the situation in Cambodia; calls on the EEAS and the Member States to take action and lead the efforts at the forthcoming 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council towards the adoption of a strong resolution addressing the human rights situation in Cambodia;

12.  Calls on the Cambodian Government to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Cambodia upon its expiry on 31 December 2018;

13.  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 European External Action Service, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and National Assembly of Cambodia.

13 Sep 2018