Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 160th session
(Seoul, 15 April 1997)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/160/14(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 159th session (September 1996) concerning the case of Mr. Sam Rainsy, of Cambodia,

Taking into consideration the communication from His Majesty the King of Cambodia dated 14 March 1997 and from the First Prime Minister, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, dated 15 February 1997,

Also taking into consideration the information conveyed by the sources on 28 February, 10, 21 and 24 March and 7 April 1997,

Recalling that in May 1995 Mr. Sam Rainsy was expelled from his party, the FUNCINPEC and, as a result, from the National Assembly although no legal provision exists in Cambodia for so expelling an MP as a consequence of his expulsion from a political party; that it has consistently expressed its concern that, in the final analysis, Mr. Rainsy was stripped of his mandate for having exercised his right to freedom of expression; that it expressed the hope that Mr. Rainsy's status would be reconsidered rapidly by the highest authorities in Cambodia in a spirit consonant with the principles of democracy and respect for human rights,

Recalling that Mr. Rainsy has so far had no opportunity to have his case heard by a tribunal, in particular the Constitutional Council - competent in such matters - which has as yet not been set up; recalling in this connection that, in his letter of 3 September 1996, the First Prime Minister stated that the legislation establishing the Supreme Council of the Magistrature and the Constitutional Council had already been adopted by the National Assembly; that, however, he and Second Prime Minister Hun Sen had as yet been unable to agree on the persons to be appointed; that, in his letter of 14 March 1997, His Majesty the King stated that he had urged the two Presidents of the Royal Government to ensure the earliest possible functioning of these bodies,

Recalling that, in November 1995, Mr. Rainsy launched a new political party, the Khmer Nation Party (PNK), which on 11 December 1995 was officially declared illegal by the Government and called upon to cease its activities,

Considering that, in his letter of 15 February 1997, the First Prime Minister stated that there were fast-moving changes in the political situation of Cambodia; that, on his initiative, and in his capacity as President of the FUNCINPEC Party, a National United Front had been established and a political platform drafted " on the basis of free adhesion to the highest common values of national union and national reconstruction. The organization of Mr. Sam Rainsy and he himself decided spontaneously to associate themselves with this constructive proposal put forward by the leading political party in the country "; that Mr. Rainsy, in a letter of 28 February 1997, confirmed the conclusion of a political alliance between him and Prince Ranariddh which could even unblock the situation regarding his seat in the National Assembly,

Considering nevertheless that, although both Prime Ministers have since declared that the Khmer Nation Party is not illegal, it has still not been formally registered and its members have suffered serious intimidation in some of the provinces; considering in this connection, that the law on political parties provided for in the Constitution has to date not even been tabled in Parliament although parliamentary elections are scheduled for 1998,

Recalling that it has expressed constant concern for Mr. Rainsy's personal security, which appears to be under threat even from the highest government levels,

Considering that, on 30 March 1997, the leadership of the PNK staged an authorized demonstration for a just, fair, independent and uncorrupt judicial system; that, when the approximately 300 demonstrators gathered in front of the National Assembly building, four hand grenades were thrown into the crowd killing 19 people, including Mr. Rainsy's bodyguard, and injuring more than 100,

Considering that the sources report serious abnormalities in the way the security operations surrounding the demonstration were organized and which seem to indicate that the attackers enjoyed the complicity of the police, eye-witnesses reporting that the armed forces present at the scene helped the attackers to escape,

Considering that the two Prime Ministers agreed to the setting up of an independent commission of inquiry; that, however, the Second Prime Minister, Mr. Hun Sen, apart from calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, said that the Ministry of the Interior should investigate the leaders of the demonstration and arrest them if they were found to have acted unlawfully; that this has been largely interpreted as a threat against Mr. Sam Rainsy,

Considering that, according to the sources, efforts have been made to implicate Mr. Sam Rainsy wrongfully in the case of the murder, in November 1996, of Mr. Khov Samuth, Mr. Hun Sen's brother-in-law,

Bearing in mind that one of the major concerns of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, as expressed in his report to the 53rd session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (E/CN.4/1997/85), is the administration of justice and that he emphasizes therein the need for the political and military authorities to respect the integrity and independence of the judiciary,

  1. Thanks His Majesty the King for his continued willingness to extend his co-operation to the Committee and the Inter-Parliamentary Union;
  2. Also thanks the first Prime Minister, Prince Ranariddh, for the information he provided and for his co-operation;
  3. Is alarmed at the heinous grenade attack of 30 March 1997 on Khmer citizens peacefully exercising their right to freedom of assembly, and particularly at the serious allegations that the attackers enjoyed the complicity of the security forces;
  4. Notes that a special commission of inquiry has been set up, and strongly urges the authorities to ensure that it may perform its work without interference from any quarter;
  5. Remains deeply concerned at threats to the personal safety of Mr. Sam Rainsy; stresses once again that it is the duty of every State to ensure the safety of its citizens, and once more urges the Government to protect Mr. Sam Rainsy's life in all circumstances;
  6. Notes with concern that Mr. Rainsy may be the object of wrongful accusations, and wishes to receive detailed information on the proceedings regarding him;
  7. Notes with regret that the Constitutional Council is still not operating, which deprives the country of the body entrusted both with safeguarding respect for the Constitution and with ensuring that its citizens, such as Mr. Sam Rainsy, have their cases heard by it as provided in the Constitution;
  8. Notes with satisfaction that the Khmer Nation Party now enjoys de facto recognition; remains nevertheless concerned that it has as yet not been formally registered, and urges the authorities to take this action as early as possible;
  9. Requests the Secretary General to convey these considerations and concerns to His Majesty the King of Cambodia;
  10. Likewise requests the Secretary General also to convey this decision to the President of the National Assembly and to the First and Second Prime Ministers of Cambodia and the Minister of Justice, inviting them to take these matters into urgent account;
  11. Further requests the Secretary General to bring its concern regarding this case to the notice of all individuals or organizations that may assist progress towards its satisfactory solution;
  12. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (September 1997).

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