IPU concerned by the rising use of legal action to silence MPs

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) spoke out today about the increasing levels of retaliation against MPs for exercising their freedom of expression across the world.

In a series of decisions adopted on the violations of the human rights of MPs, the Organization stressed the growing recourse to court action and unlawful exclusion from political life as a means to stifle political opponents. Instead of listening to political opponents judicial proceedings are becoming a political tool to root out dissent.

IPU´s Member Parliaments addressed the cases of 129 MPs in eight countries whose human rights have allegedly been violated and published a resolution.

Many of these cases are related to reprisals against MPs for expressing their views as part of their oversight responsibility, and reveal an overarching problem that not only undermines parliamentarians’ ability to exercise their mandate, but also has a chilling effect on other MPs said IPU in its statement.  

Concerning Turkey, IPU said they are particularly worried about the situation of the 55 MPs from the opposition party the People´s Democratic Party who face over 600 terrorism charges. IPU emphasized that these MPs were stripped of parliamentary immunity following a constitutional amendment in May authorizing a blanket removal of immunity for a total of 139 parliamentarians from all political parties. IPU said they are seeking a comprehensive solution that goes beyond individual cases and requested the Committee to enhance its contacts with the authorities for this purpose.

You may download the resolution of the IPU committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians from here.

October 28, 2016