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Briefing note on parliamentary immunity, targeting of opposition voices in Cambodia

(CCHR/IFEX) - Phnom Penh, 5 December 2012 - Today, 5 December 2012, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights ("CCHR") releases a Briefing Note that provides an overview on the status of parliamentary immunity under Cambodian law, in light of a Court of Appeal hearing in Phnom Penh on 3 August 2012, at which the parliamentary immunity of a prominent opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker, Mu Sochua, was restored. The removal of Mu Sochua's parliamentary immunity highlights shortcomings in the relevant laws surrounding parliamentary immunity, which must be addressed for the benefit of democracy in Cambodia.

CCHR President Ou Virak comments:

"There is no point having parliamentary immunity in the first place if it can be arbitrarily removed at the first hint of criticism of the ruling party or their cronies. Time and again we see opposition parliamentarians trying to do their job, trying to serve their constituents, only to have their parliamentary immunity taken away. What does immunity mean in this context? The legislation is also very unclear, and needs clarification. We have highlighted the gaps and inconsistencies in the legislation, to provide a basis for reform in an area that is vital to proper parliamentary democracy."

Download the Briefing Note:
Cambodia_CCHR_parliamentary_immunity.pdf (185 KB)

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