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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Council
at its 171st session (Geneva, 27 September 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/171/12(a)-R.1), and to the relevant resolution adopted at its 170th session (March 2002),

Recalling that, in March 1997, Mr. Sam Rainsy was the target of a grenade attack which killed a dozen persons and seriously injured some 100 others; the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia reported serious abnormalities in security arrangements which suggested that the attackers had enjoyed the complicity of the security personnel, consisting of soldiers belonging to the personal guard of Mr. Hun Sen (report A/52/489, October 1997); they did not help the injured but rather pointed their weapons at those attacked, making no effort to arrest the attackers but - according to eyewitness reports - instead helping them to escape,

Recalling that the two Prime Ministers at the time, Mr. Hun Sen and Prince Norodom Ranariddh, at present Prime Minister and President of the National Assembly, respectively, pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice; recalling further that the Common Policy Programme concluded in November 1998 between the Cambodia People's Party (CPP) and the National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC) provides for combating impunity, a point which is also part of the General Programme of Policy presented by Prime Minister Hun Sen to the National Assembly on 30 March 1999,

Considering that, contrary to the undertaking of the authorities to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice and to set up an independent commission of inquiry, no such commission has ever been formed and the investigation, if any, has remained fruitless to date,

Bearing also in mind that Cambodia is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and thus bound to bring to justice perpetrators of violations of the rights guaranteed therein, such as the right to life and to security,

  1. Deplores the lack of cooperation from the authorities, in particular the parliamentary authorities; can but infer from their lack of response that, contrary to their undertaking to combat impunity, they seem to have little or no interest in ensuring that the competent authorities fulfil their duty to identify and bring to justice those responsible for the heinous grenade attack;

  2. Deeply regrets that the Cambodian Parliament has not availed itself of its oversight function to ensure that justice is done in this case, in order both to safeguard the rights of one of its members and preserve thereby the rights of all citizens it represents;

  3. Is compelled to conclude, given the inaction of the authorities and the persistent lack of any progress, that in failing to dispense justice in this case by identifying and prosecuting the culprits, the State of Cambodia is guilty, by omission, of a violation of Mr. Sam Rainsy's right to security and to justice;

  4. Recalls that, pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 3 (a), of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Mr. Sam Rainsy is entitled to an effective remedy; calls on the authorities, and particularly Parliament, to ensure compliance with this provision;

  5. Expresses the hope that the Cambodian Parliament will in future fully avail itself of its constitutional prerogatives and thus assume to the full its role as a guardian of human rights;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to bring this resolution to the notice of the competent parliamentary and other authorities, and of the sources;

  7. Decides to close this case.
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