Geneva: Representatives of world
parliaments on Thursday criticized Israel, Cambodia and 19 other
countries for their treatment of lawmakers.
The chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Union`s human
rights committee, Rosario Green, urged Israel not to deport
Palestinian lawmakers Mohammed Abu Teir, Mohammed Totah and
Ahmed Abu Atoun after they were recently released from prison.
The three were ordered expelled from Jerusalem for
links to Hamas. But Green, a former Mexican foreign minister,
said the expulsion violates the lawmakers` human rights.
Green`s panel also called a Cambodian defamation
case against opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua a "complete
travesty of justice."
Mu Sochua faces up to six months in prison after
refusing to pay a court-ordered fine for defaming Cambodia`s
Other countries scrutinized by the committee for
their treatment of lawmakers included Afghanistan, Bangladesh,
Belarus, Burundi, Colombia, Ecuador, Eritrea, Iraq, Lebanon,
Madagascar, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia,
Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Zimbabwe.
In one of its harshest criticisms, the panel
slammed Russia for failing to bring to justice the murderers
of Galina Starovoitova, who was gunned down in the stairwell
of her St Petersburg apartment building in 1998.
"We have been urging the Russian Federation for now
12 years to investigate more deeply into the masterminding of
the assassination," said panel member Sharon Carstairs, a
Canadian senator, explaining why the previously confidential
case was now being highlighted.
"It is clear that they are not trying to get to the
bottom of her assassination," said Carstairs. "We believe
therefore that it is necessary to make this a public case, in
order for her murderers - those who are ultimately responsible
for her murder - to be brought to justice."
IPU brings together lawmakers from 155 countries.
The US Congress isn`t a member.