A Change of Guard

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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

CCHR Press Release – CCHR Releases a Briefing Note on Parliamentary Immunity in Cambodia

CCHR PRESS RELEASE – Phnom Penh, 5 December 2012

Following the Case of Mu Sochua, CCHR Releases a Briefing Note on Parliamentary Immunity in Cambodia, including a Legal Analysis of the Relevant Legislation

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.

For more information, please contact Ou Virak via telephone at +855 (0) 1240 4051 or e-mail at ouvirak@cchrcambodia.org or Senior Consultant Robert Finch via telephone at +855 (0) 7880 9960 or e-mail at robert.finch@cchrcambodia.org.

Please also find this Press Release and the Briefing Note attached in PDF format, in both Khmer and English.

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