Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"If Mu Sochua is arrested, we will lead mass demonstrations throughout the country with teachers and workers": Rong Chhun

Activist Yeng Virak outside the National Assembly on Monday, after delivering a letter to Assembly President Heng Samrin. (Photo by: HENG CHIVOAN)

MP's immunity debate opens

Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Written by Meas Sokchea
The Phnom Penh Post

THE National Assembly's Permanent Committee met Monday to consider a court-sanctioned request to lift the immunity of opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua and allow Prime Minister Hun Sen's defamation suit against her to go ahead, officials said.

"The issue of lifting [Mu Sochua's] immunity has been included in the agenda for this session of the Permanent Committee, and a decision will come on June 22, when the Assembly will [decide whether to] adopt" the committee's recommendations, senior Cambodian People's Party lawmaker Cheam Yeap told the Post Monday.

The defamation case against the outspoken Kampot lawmaker is a response to Mu Sochua's attempt to sue the prime minister for what she says were defamatory remarks made about her during a speech in April.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court rejected Mu Sochua's lawsuit last week, saying it was groundless, but moved ahead with Hun Sen's countersuit, asking the National Assembly to lift Mu Sochua's immunity so that it might proceed with questioning.

Mu Sochua told the Post Monday she would go to jail rather than pay the 10 million riels (US$2,410) that Hun Sen is demanding.

"I have said again and again that my case is a symbol of the entire justice system in Cambodia, and I repeat: I will not pay.... I am ready to go to prison, and I would like to emphasise I will not flee," said the former Minister of Women's Affairs, who has a US passport.

Since Mu Sochua's case was discussed at a standard session of the committee, a decision will still have to be approved by two-thirds of the members of the National Assembly.

The ruling CPP holds more than two-thirds of seats in the body.

Last year, an extraordinary session of the 12-member Permanent Committee was called to strip opposition leader Sam Rainsy of his parliamentary immunity.

The Permanent Committee is made up of the heads of all the Assembly's committees - all of whom are CPP members - and presided over by Assembly President Heng Samrin.

In an April 4 speech in Kampot, Hun Sen referred to an unnamed lawmaker as a cheung klang, or "strong leg", term viewed by some as particularly offensive to women. Mu Sochua has said repeatedly that the speech clearly referred to her, noting that Hun Sen described the same lawmaker as a "strong female MP from the opposition party in Kampot" who lost a button on her shirt while running around embracing people.

During last year's election campaign, Mu Sochua was involved in an altercation in which she said an army general tore a button from her blouse and exposed her bra.

Mu Sochua said that if the prime minister's comments in April did not refer to her, as his defence team claim, he should clarify to whom he was referring. "He must take responsibility for his words and answer in front of parliament," she said.

Also Monday, 11 civil society groups delivered a letter to Heng Samrin asking the Assembly reconsider stripping Mu Sochua of her immunity.

"If parliamentary immunity can be lifted easily, it makes everyone afraid; if parliamentarians have fear, democracy and national development have problems," said the director of the Community Legal Education Centre ,Yeng Virak, who was allowed to deliver the letter.

The letter outlined concerns over the lawsuits, and urged the duelling parliamentarians to resolve the matter out of court, saying they "regret" that CPP lawmaker and permanent committee member Cheam Yeap had already announced publicly that parliament would lift Mu Sochua's immunity, Yeng Virak said.

The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, Rong Chhun, said parliamentary immunity would be worthless if it could be lifted so easily, and threatened mass protests if the Assembly went ahead with the move.

"If Mu Sochua is arrested, we will lead mass demonstrations throughout the country with teachers and workers."


Anonymous said...

Mu Sochua said:

“I declare that I will not pay [the fine], I will fight [this lawsuit] to the end. At the end I will go to jail.”

If it is true, we khmer still call her "Mu Sochua" if not she does not "Mu Sochua".

Anonymous said...

That blind son of a bitch uses power to oppress those who dare to cahallenge him whom has been seen as the second Pol Pot. This bastard thinks winning is everything for him. What a fool is he!

Anonymous said...

hun sen must be immunity suspend as Mu Sohua ,if hun sen want ppls to respect him.

Anonymous said...

We should not expect much from a former Khmer Rough individual with a 3rd grade education. He thinks that he can hold on to his power forever and failed to realize that his time is coming closer and closer. It will be very soon we all will witness the falling of Hun Sen regime. Like they said, nothing will last forever. What goes up will comes down.

Hun Sen and Youn worse enemy..

Anonymous said...

This Khmer government (CPP) are too tough, too strong (strong man), any one dare to against them this goverment will use the court system to arrest those. Do not disagree with our strongman.
But why don't this shit government use the international court against the Thai invasioned our territory too?
Come on! show us Khmer how strong you are to protect our land. you are so cheap, you can only begged the Thai PM to build the road only.
How can those CPP supporters can say when your big boss did not ask the Thai PM to pull out the troops out off our territory?

So cheap! asked enemy to help.
Yeah! our strongman!

Don't take me to the PP court, please.

Anonymous said...

Do you want to be a president?
I quest only 1 minute you ran away from khmer country.So don't say more than you work ok dud!

Anonymous said...

oh... how many worker and teacher will join you? I support law suit against Her. She's not right. Her action seem so silly.. How can a parliment member do this? have u ever see PM from CPP done this before?

I hope my comment won't be deleted again..

Anonymous said...

I solute you Ms. Mu because you are a person with strong principle. You are a role model for Cambodians who thirst for democracy in Cambodia. Good luck to you Ms. Mu and never surrender to the cyclops tyrant.

Anonymous said...

&:32am your comment is sucked,
Here is my supporting ,why Hun Sen can insult every body as he pleased?
Is it Hun Sen is God ?
Is he perfect human being? Is he is not why he just go around and curse people like behave?This lady just wanted a fair justice as she is a Cambodian and government servant why your Prime minister defame her? I think you are sillier that her because every one has their right to sue anyone as long as she has the cases but your country is fuck up as long as you are the prime minister your fart is smell like cologne and when you poor and small we were less value than home less dog. Is you brain shrimp think and act that way do not have your fucking hope you will be Viet slave and half on the west country site will be Thai slave for ever because your prime minister to not know how to run your country get it.

Anonymous said...

Just to curse someone high ranking is no criminal. You go to jail when you commit harsh crime against someone and also at your fault. When this lawsuit turns out that Mrs. Mu Sochua ends up in jail, the order is from Hanoi, because Vietnam wants to shut up Khmer Patriotic who is brave to fight for her own people.

Anonymous said...

The process of lifting Mme Mu Sochua's immunity has been rescheduled to 19 June. In the same day, Sok An will be questioned by parliament members. It is a good strategy, so that opposition MPs cannot boycott the session. And we would see one or two of them join CPP MPs to approve the lifting.

Anonymous said...

Everyday, I am so appreciating PM Hun Sen, becuse he is not only strong and wise man, but he have creates alot of jobs for civil societies such VOA, AFA, Mr. Rong Chhun, Ou Virak and other human right organization. See!! only the case of Mrs. MU, many activist, medias have lot of works to do, so they could sustaine their monthly salary to support their family as well. If there is no any case happend, those guys are also no work to do to in Cambodia and not sooner and later they will be unemployment..Thus they should thank Sam Dach Hun Sen by providing their daily jobs.


Anonymous said...

11:03 AM

Ah kh'dor, ah kone mi sam phoeung yuon came along Viet troops invading Cambodia in 1979, and vIETNAMISE cAMBODIA.

Anonymous said...

Should be both fine and imprisonment.


Anonymous said...

Dear 11:27 AM

You are so funny and thank for reminding us that your life also was saved back in 1979 by our god father Vietname Troops and 3 Sam Daches. This is great you still remember that important year for your mother-fucker life.

son of farmer said...

My beloved 2:03PM!

Did ye acknowledgeably know that Youn just staying in the ghost town, Phnom Pehn, more than 7 months, after successfully invading Srok Khmer on Jan. Jan 7, 1979?

If ye finally free from bad conscience, hatred, and ressentiment, ye might be ironically realized that we Khmer did not godly need Youn to help us, Cambodian would be more likely as China or Russia.