European Parliament Representative Will Come to Observe Ms. Mu Sochua’s Court Hearing – Monday, 20.7.2009

Posted on 21 July 2009. Filed under: Week 622 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 622

“Recently the government imprisoned the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, and the National Assembly withdrew the immunity of two Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians, Ms. Mu Sochua and Mr. Ho Van; this has led to strong reactions from many local and international organizations. The following is the reaction from an influential German parliamentarian, who asked the European Parliament to consider putting economic pressure on the Cambodian government.

“On 16 July 2009, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, an influential German parliamentarian and first vice president of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Parliament [and member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament], called on leaders of the European Union to intervene in order to protect democracy in Cambodia, as this country (Cambodia) has commerce and cooperation agreements with the European Union since 1997.

“An appeal in English, which was unofficially translated by Khmer Machas Srok, said that Article 1 of these agreements states “the respect of democracy and human rights as basis.”


Instead of re-translating the text again from Khmer back into English, we rather present here the press release in its original form:

“Liberals and Democrats call for EU to uphold Human Rights in Cambodia / 17-07-2009

“Today the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) have tabled a question to the European Commission and Council demanding action to stand up for Cambodian opposition politicians, journalists and lawyers who are facing serious defamation charges for daring to criticize the governing authorities.

“The ALDE political initiative comes in support of a UN Human Rights report published last month indicating an increasing use of defamation and disinformation lawsuits to undermine freedom of opinion in the country and stifle any criticism of the ruling elite or the Cambodian People’s party which has a huge majority in the Cambodian Parliament.

“In particular, in recent weeks the editor of a national newspaper (Khmer Machas Srok) which has shown support for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party and published articles accusing the Deputy Prime Minister of corruption was arrested. Similarly, two deputies from the Sam Rainsy Party were stripped of their parliamentary immunity at the end of June and face a trial on 24th July.

“Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (Free Democrat Party, Germany) and ALDE first Vice-President initiated the appeal to EU leaders to intervene in defense of democracy in Cambodia with whom the European Union has had a trade and cooperation agreement since 1997. The first article of this agreement deals with “respect for democratic principles and fundamental human rights” which are to “inspire the internal and international policies of the EU and Cambodia” and which “constitute an essential element of the agreement”.

“‘The EU has the vocation and obligation to export its values of democracy and human rights across the globe. Its soft power can and should be exerted through political and economic pressure on partner countries with which it has contractual relations,’ said Lambsdorff.

“‘We expect the Cambodian Government to drop its lawsuits against members of the opposition and we call on the European Union to send an observer to monitor the trial in Phnom Penh on 24th July of Mu Sochua, member of the Sam Rainsy opposition or any other politician facing similar charges.'”

“The ALDE initiative has been co-signed by ALDE MEPs Niccolo Rinaldi (Italia dei Valori) and Annemie Neyts (OpenVLD, Belgium).

[The ALDE Group is the 3rd largest political group in the European Parliament, holding the balance of power between the left and right.]

“This is a grave criticism addressing the downturn of democracy in Cambodia, expressed by a German parliamentarian who is among the parliamentarians of the European Union.

“It should be noted that the jailing of Mr. Hang Chakra, and the withdrawal of the immunity of two Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarians to make the way free for them to be called to the court – while the courts are criticized for not being independent – has led to condemnations from important local and international organizations, and they consider the measures taken by the government at present as a way to stifle freedom, and having a strong negative impact on democracy in Cambodia. However, all criticism of the current government has been dismissed by government officials.

“Even though government officials dismissed the condemnations from many sides, democratic countries from all over the world see that democracy in Cambodia is suffering a setback.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #, 18-21.7.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 20 July 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #240, 19-20.7.2009

  • Forestry Official: The Export of Crocodile Babies [from breeding stations] Is Difficult after There Are Sanctions [the Swiss government forbids the import of live crocodiles; crocodile breeders complained that authorities also extort much money from them to provide licenses for the export of crocodile babies to foreign countries]
  • Twenty Days after Visiting Cambodia, [the Thai Deputy Prime Minister and parliamentarian] Suthep Lost His Parliamentary Seat [ he resigned from parliament, but retains his position as a vice-minister – in this way he hopes to avoid the ruling of the Thai Election Committee, accusing him of having been involved in stock exchange trading – which is unconstitutional for parliamentarians]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2000, 19-20.7.2009

  • [The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Mr. Hor Namhong Leads a Delegation to Attend the ASEAN Meeting in Phuket [Thailand]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.3, #626, 20.7.2009

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Told France How Cambodia is Preventing Siamese [Thai] Troops to Intrude Further into Cambodian Territory

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #, 18-21.7.2009

  • European Parliament Representative Will Come to Observe Ms. Mu Sochua’s Court Hearings
  • The Government Does Not Accept [the president of the Khmer Civilization Foundation] Mr. Moeung Sonn’s Apology [his apology about his critical statement about suspected drilling by a private company into some walls of the Angkor Wat Temple to attach electric lighting equipment]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6706, 20.7.2009

  • The International Data Group Launches a Branch in Cambodia [IDG is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets]
  • Police Arrested a Korean Man Who Raped a Khmer Woman in the Khusen Hotel [phonetic – Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4950, 19-20.7.2009

  • Thailand Promises to Refill Trenches at the Trop Mountain Following a Khmer Military Commander’s Request
  • Thai Doctors Are Almost Unable to Hospitalize New A/H1N1 Patients; Thailand Admits It Can No Longer Prevent the Spreading of This Flu
  • Two Suzuki ‘Smash’ Motorbikes Collided Seriously and the Two Drivers Were Killed Immediately [Phnom Penh]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1753, 20.7.2009

  • Military Police: Svay Rieng Court Released Alleged Drug Smugglers and Users [the court changed the warrant, rewrote the accusation to say that they are drug users, not drug smugglers [what they really are, as claimed by many local people]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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