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Resolution adopted without a vote by the IPU Council
at its 170th session (Marrakech, 23 March 2002)

The Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the outline of the case of Mr. Sam Rainsy of Cambodia, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/170/13.c(ii)-R.1), and to the relevant resolution adopted at its 169th session (September 2001),

Taking account of the information provided by the Cambodian delegation at the hearing held on the occasion of the 107th Conference (March 2002),

Recalling that in March 1997 Mr. Rainsy was the target of a grenade attack, killing a dozen persons and seriously injuring a hundred others; the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Human Rights in Cambodia reported serious abnormalities in security arrangements suggesting that the attackers enjoyed the complicity of the security personnel; although the two Prime Ministers at the time, Hun Sen and Prince Ranariddh, at present Prime Minister and President of the National Assembly, respectively, pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice and to set up an independent commission of inquiry, no such commission has been set up and the investigation has remained fruitless to date,

Considering that the Cambodian delegation to the 107th Conference (March 2002) stated that it had received no information about the investigation,

Recalling that, on 17 August 2001, the Minister of Information issued an order to confiscate a book Mr. Rainsy had published under the title "The Light of Justice" on the grounds that it contained information "which defames and accuses without evidence the Royal Government resulting from the democratic elections held in 1998, raises suspicions and provides a misleading picture of it"; Mr. Rainsy has lodged a complaint with the competent court and the National Assembly,

Considering that, from the information supplied by various members of the Cambodian delegation to the 107th Conference, it appears that Mr. Rainsy's book is freely on sale in Cambodia and that the confiscation order has been lifted; however, the book is still banned by the Minister for Information and has therefore to be printed in Bangkok, printers in Cambodia refusing to print a book under a ban,

  1. Forcefully recalls that impunity is a threat to democracy, the rule of law and human rights as it encourages crime and undermines confidence in the State's ability to dispense justice;

  2. Deplores therefore the fact that, five years after the grenade attack, the perpetrators of this heinous crime enjoy de facto impunity; finds this all the more difficult to understand in the light of the evidence gathered, including by the United Nations, and of the commitment of the authorities at the time, still in power, to ensure that justice is done;

  3. Affirms that the National Assembly has a particular interest in ensuring that this attack does not go unpunished; urges it therefore to avail itself of its oversight function and to take action to ensure that the law enforcement authorities fulfil their duty and pursue the investigation in a diligent and thorough manner;

  4. Reiterates its desire to ascertain which authority is in charge of conducting the investigation and what stage has been reached;

  5. Notes with satisfaction that the confiscation order concerning Mr. Rainsy's book "The Light of Justice" has been lifted; is confident that any ban to which this book may still be subject will likewise be lifted, thus removing any obstacle to its being printed in Cambodia; would appreciate confirmation of this;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the parliamentary and other competent authorities, inviting them to provide the requested information;

  7. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to its at its next session (September 2002).

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