Written Question: EU response to the crackdown on democracy in Cambodia

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 17 March 2021

Question for written answer E-001484/2021
to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Rule 138
Svenja Hahn (Renew)

Subject: EU response to the crackdown on democracy in Cambodia

In November 2020, the Cambodian authorities charged at least 137 individuals with links to the dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) with incitement, plotting and attacks against the state. On 1 March 2021, senior leaders of the CNRP were convicted in absentia on charges of ‘attempting to organise a coup d’état to overthrow the government’, each facing prison sentences of 20 to 25 years.

These acts are clearly aimed at eradicating the last remnants of the opposition, and are in breach of Cambodia’s commitments under international law. The EU has already partially withdrawn the tariff preferences granted to Cambodia under the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme owing to the serious and systematic violations of the human rights principles enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

1. Has the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy requested an assessment of the effects of the partial EBA withdrawal, especially on civil society?

2. Will he propose targeted sanctions, such as travel bans and asset freezes, against Cambodian leaders and their economic interests under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime?

3. Does he consider Phnom Penh to be an acceptable location for this year’s Asia-Europe Meeting?

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