appeal for international parliamentary solidarity

My name is Sam Rainsy. I am a member of parliament of Cambodia and the leader of my country’s second largest political party.

As the leader of a vocal opposition I have been persecuted by the authoritarian ruling party and government of Cambodia.

In 1995, I was unconstitutionally expelled from the National Assembly, but I managed to recover my parliamentary seat through subsequent elections. I have escaped several assassination attempts, such as a deadly grenade attack in 1997, but some eighty of my supporters have been murdered. Besides trying to kill me or to expel me from parliament, the ruling party has managed to strip me of my parliamentary immunity three times and to get me sentenced to prison terms twice. While currently in exile, I am expecting another sentence of up to fifteen years in jail, again under false charges.

My only crime is my unyielding denunciation of corruption and human rights abuses and my unwavering defense of the people who have elected me as their representative.

In 2006, I received the Prize for Freedom from Liberal International.

The strategy of Cambodia’s ruling party is to use a politically subservient judiciary to crackdown on all government critics.

On 28 January 2010, following my last conviction by a kangaroo court, Human Rights Watch titled a statement, “Cambodia: Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy’s Trial a Farce” and added, “conviction demonstrates continuing persecution of critics, political control of judiciary.”

In a 17 June 2010 report, Professor Surya Subedi, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia deplores “external interference in the work of the judiciary.”

In a 12-15 July 2010 decision of its Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, the Inter-Parliamentary Union “reaffirms that the judicial action against Mr. [Sam] Rainsy bears no relationship to the alleged offence."

A 14 September 2010 statement of a coalition of 16 Human Rights NGOs reads, “the government has used the courts to silence criticism of its responses to land-grabbing, corruption and border disputes," and the “criminal charges [against Sam Rainsy and other government critics] are politically motivated.”

I call on your solidarity as fellow parliamentarian. Please help me by asking the government of your country to put pressure on the authorities of Cambodia, which are heavily dependent on international aid, so that I can resume my parliamentary work in acceptable conditions and continue to promote democracy in my country.

Thank you.
Sam Rainsy

P.S. Please send me any record of your intervention and any response from your government. Thank you. samrainsysrp@gmail.com

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Full text of the Appeal for Cambodia: / Texte intégral de l’Appel pour le Cambodge

IPU Resolution on Sam Rainsy’s case: http://tinyurl.com/26vfuky

Résolution de IPU sur le cas de Sam Rainsy: http://tinyurl.com/27txgyz