Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 163rd session (Moscow, 12 September 1998)

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/163/12(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 162nd session (April 1998) concerning the case of Mr. Sam Rainsy and that of Mr. Son Soubert, Mr. Pol Ham, Mr. Son Sann and Mr. Kem Sokha, of Cambodia,

Taking account of a letter from H.E. the King of Cambodia dated 17 July 1998,

Also taking account of information provided by one of the sources on 20 June and 8 September 1998,

Recalling that the above parliamentarians were elected in the 1993 elections organised by UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia); that Mr. Sam Rainsy was elected on a FUNCINPEC ticket and the other four MPs on a BLDP (Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party) ticket,

Recalling that FUNCINPEC, the winner of the elections, formed a coalition with the Cambodia People's Party (CPP), the runner-up; that Mr. Sam Rainsy was expelled from his party in May 1995 and subsequently from the National Assembly; that in November 1995 he founded a new political party, the Khmer Nation Party (KNP); that the BLDP split in 1995 into two factions; that the one headed by Information Minister Mr. Ieng Mouly obtained government recognition, while the other faction, led by Mr. Son Sann, sustained a grenade attack when attempting to hold a congress in October 1995; that, in March 1997, an authorised and peaceful demonstration of the KNP led by Mr. Sam Rainsy also suffered a grenade attack killing at least 16 people and injuring over 100,

Recalling that the investigation into this attack has so far been unavailing, as has the investigation into the grenade attack of October 1995 against Mr. Son Sann and his group,

Bearing in mind that in his report to the General Assembly in 1997, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia stated that the problem of impunity was one of the key issues of the establishment of the rule of law in the country, impunity in this particular case meaning that those who violate human rights - in particular military personnel, police, the gendarmes and other members of the armed forces - are neither arrested nor prosecuted, even if the authorities and the public at large are fully aware of their guilt,

Recalling the observation by the Cambodian delegation to the 99th Inter-Parliamentary Conference (April 1998) that the current priority was the preparation of the elections; and that the investigations in question would be fully addressed once the elections were over,

Recalling the violent ousting of First Prime Minister Prince Ranariddh in July 1997, resulting in scores of individuals loyal to Prince Ranariddh and his political party being extrajudicially executed without anybody having so far been brought to justice; that others, including the above former or incumbent parliamentarians concerned, were forced into exile; that, in November 1997, Mr. Sam Rainsy returned to Cambodia followed in early 1998 by the other MPs in question in an attempt to prepare for the July 1998 elections,

Noting that parliamentary elections went ahead on 26 July 1998 as scheduled; that Mr. Son Sann did not stand for re-election; that, according to information in the Committee's possession, while Mr. Rainsy was re-elected, Mr. Son Soubert, Mr. Pol Ham and Mr. Kem Sokha were not,

Noting also that there had been serious doubts about the feasibility of holding free and fair elections on that date in view of the many reports of intimidation and murder of opposition candidates, voter intimidation, serious flaws in voter registration, and lack of impartiality of the bodies competent to monitor the elections and to rule on electoral disputes; that while the Cambodian opposition has denounced numerous irregularities in the electoral process and disputed its outcome, the European Union, in a letter of 6 August 1998 to the United Nations Secretary General, noted with satisfaction that " the initial report from the Joint International Observer Group concluded that the polling and counting was a process which was free and fair to an extent that enables it to reflect, in a credible way, the will of the Cambodian people ",

Considering that, on 20 August 1998, Mr. Rainsy was the target of a grenade and firearms attack outside the Interior Ministry compound in Phnom Penh, where his supporters were holding an all-night vigil outside the office of the National Election Committee; that Mr. Rainsy and a group of his supporters were detained by police shortly after the attack and subsequently released after intercession by United Nations personnel and others,

Considering that, subsequent to a grenade attack on Mr. Hun Sen's home on 7 September 1998, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Mr. Sam Rainsy and that he escaped arrest owing to United Nations protection,

  1. Is alarmed to learn that an arrest warrant was issued against Mr. Sam Rainsy, apparently on no legal basis, obliging him to seek refuge at the United Nations Office in Phnom Penh, and hopes to receive detailed information on the subject;
  2. Is likewise alarmed that, in August 1998, Mr. Sam Rainsy suffered a further grenade and firearm attack, and wishes to know whether investigations of this matter are under way and any result achieved;
  3. Also expresses deep concern that the investigations into the grenade attack on him of March 1997 have yielded no results, and can but consider such further violence to be the outcome of a situation of impunity;
  4. Deplores the fact that the investigation into the grenade attack of October 1995 against Mr. Son Sann and his group has yielded nothing in three years, and fears that, failing any new information on these investigations, it will be led to conclude that the Cambodian State is indeed guilty by omission of a violation of the human rights of the former MPs concerned;
  5. Recalls that, on the occasion of the 99th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, the Cambodian delegation stated that during the election campaign the fight against impunity was not a priority but that it would become one as soon as the elections were over;
  6. Earnestly hopes that the newly elected Parliament will do its utmost to combat impunity and ensure respect for human rights;
  7. Notes finally that, according to information in the Committee's possession, Mr. Sam Rainsy was re-elected, while Mr. Son Sann did not stand for re-election and Mr. Pol Ham, Mr. Kem Sokha and Mr. Son Soubert were not re-elected;
  8. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (April 1999).

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