The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has condemned physical attacks on MPs in Cambodia and Myanmar this week, which have left three politicians in hospital.
IPU is calling for authorities in both countries to ensure greater protection of parliamentarians and freedom of assembly and expression as a cornerstone of democratic practice.
The beating of two opposition MPs in Cambodia is the latest in a series of concerns over treatment of the political opposition in the South East Asian country. IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians is already examining several cases of alleged violations against MPs’ rights in Cambodia, and will take up this case.
With elections due to take place in Myanmar on 8 November, IPU is particularly worried by the sword attack on an MP from the National League for Democracy (NLD) yesterday at a rally in the capital, Yangon.
“Myanmar has made great progress in recent years to move towards a democratic society. The upcoming elections are a critical test of the reinforcement of the country’s democratic credentials,” says IPU’s Secretary General Martin Chungong. “IPU urges the authorities to do their utmost to ensure there is no backslide on democracy. All political voices in the country must be allowed to fully participate in democratic processes without fear of attack or reprisal.”
IPU’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians will follow up on the case with Myanmar authorities.