Cambodia: Marco Pannella at the UN in Geneva with the democratic opposition to denounce human rights violations and the recent electoral process

24 Sep, 2013 | Press Releases

Geneva, 24 September 2013

From the early afternoon of Tuesday, 24 September, Marco Pannella will take part in a rally organised by the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational Transparty (NRPTT) and the Cambodian community in Europe. The rally is being convened in the square in front of the Palais des Nations in Geneva on the occasion of the special dialogue that the UN Human Rights Council will hold throughout the day of 24 September to discuss the situation in Cambodia.

In addition to the problematic situation regarding human rights in that country, the issue of the last general election in Phnom Penh lies among the issues at the heart of the debate at the UN. That election confirmed the victory of Hun Sen’s People’s Party, but the election process was widely criticised due to a serious lack of respect of international standards in respect of the control and transparency of the electoral process. The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, led by former Congressman Sam Rainsy, denounced systematic violations of civil rights in rural areas of the country; in some areas, hundreds of voters were not allowed to vote while in others, whole villages were allowed to vote multiple times.

According to Sam Rainsy, who could not participate in the elections following his return to Cambodia after a couple of years of exile in France, the Coalition led by him would have won the majority by a couple of seats in the National Assembly and should therefore lead Cambodia today. In order to demand justice, the Opposition has been desmonstrating in the capital for weeks, and, on 23 September, the 55 members of Parliament from the Cambodia National Rescue Party have boycotted the inauguration of the National Assembly, leaving the 68 deputies of Hun Sen’s People’s Party alone in that event. As an alternative to the first session of Parliament, Sam Rainsy has organised public events planned in conjunction with the oath of Hun Sen as the new Prime Minister, which is expected to take place on 24 September.

For over a decade, members of Sam Rainsy’s Party, also known as the Pannella of south-east Asia, are enrolled in the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty: Representatives Sam Rainsy, Saumura Touilong and Son Chhay are part of the NRPTT’s General Council. For years, the NRPTT has been present and active in Indochina, also on issues related to the rights of the Montagnard people, who live in the central highlands of Vietnam and Cambodia, and the Khmer Krom community, who live on the Mekong Delta.

After participating in the Cambodian election observation mission in 2003 with a delegation of the NRPTT, in December 2009 Marco Pannella, along with the then Radical Senator Marco Perduca, were blocked at the airport in Phnom Penh as they were about to embark for the Saigon, where they were supposed to meet with the head of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam. The excuse given was that Hanoi could not guarantee the necessary safety and security to people considered to be a political “counter-revolutionary”.

Along with Marco Pannella, representatives of the NRPTT to the UN Matteo Angioli and Antonio Stango will participate in the rally.

For more information please call +39-348.729.6708.

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