"Sam Rainsy is stronger than the oppressive regime"


‘Sam Rainsy is stronger than the oppressive regime’ - President welcomes resolution on Cambodia

Sam Rainsy and ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen

MEPs last week at the European Parliament in Strasbourg adopted a resolution on Cambodia and called for the arrest warrant and politically-motivated charges against liberal partner and opposition leader Sam Rainsy to be dropped.

In the adopted resolution, the European Parliament “urges the Cambodian authorities to revoke the arrest warrant and drop all charges issued against opposition leader Sam Rainsy (…), and calls on the National Assembly to reinstate Sam Rainsy immediately [as member of parliament] and to restore his parliamentary immunity."

Sam Rainsy, whose Cambodia National Rescue Party is a member of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), the sister organisation of the ALDE Party promoting liberalism and liberal democrat parties in Asia, is currently in exile after an arrest warrant was issued over an unserved defamation sentence from 2011 the day after the Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen threatened legal action for comments he made urging the premier to move towards a peaceful exit from office.

Mr Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for more than three decades, has been routinely accused of stifling the opposition voices in the country. Rainsy has accused the ruling Cambodian People's Party of stealing the last election in 2013 with widespread vote-rigging. In a Facebook posting last week, a defiant Mr Rainsy wrote that the "wind of freedom that is blowing throughout the world will also reach Cambodia in the very near future", a reference to the recent landslide election victory by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in neighbouring Burma/Myanmar.

Rainsy attended the EP plenary session in Strasbourg as a special guest and met with MEPs as well as the new ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen MEP.

Following his meeting with Rainsy, van Baalen said: “Sam Rainsy is a kind but determined politician fighting for democracy and human rights in Cambodia for many, many years. The Hun Sen regime has tried to frighten him, blocked him from running for parliament and tried to ruin and kill him. It all did not work.”

Sam Rainsy is stronger than the oppressive regime. Now the regime stripped him from his position as MP. The European Parliament adopted a resolution in which the regime is demanded to reinstate Sam Rainsy as MP, but this is not enough. The States which guaranteed the Paris Peace Treaty of 1975 should take responsibility and bring the matter before the UN Security Council.

Speaking during the plenary debate, ALDE Group MEP Ramon Tremosa (CDC, Catalonia, Spain) said: “The message once again is clear: the Hun Sen government has to stop the political repression of political opposition and come back to respect for the rule of law and democracy. It is not the first time this Parliament has condemned such behaviour […] We call on Hun Sen and the National Assembly to reinstate Sam Rainsy immediately and to restore his parliamentary immunity. Thank you very much, Sam Rainsy. You are an example to all of us. Democracy and non-violence will always win.”

The full text of the adopted resolution on Cambodia can be found here: http://goo.gl/kzIWoz