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Vietnamese Police and Border Guards Detained and Confiscated Personal Property of the Khmer-Krom

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According to Radio Free Asia broadcasted in Vietnamese on November 6, 2014, the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks filed an appeal to UNHCR in Cambodia and the Foreign Affair of the Cambodian government on November 3, 2014, urging for help to ask the Vietnamese government to return their confiscated personal property.

On October 14, 2014, five Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks and eleven Khmer-Krom Buddhist followers left Cambodia planning to attend the Kathina ceremony on October 28-29, 2014, at Minh Hoa village, Chau Thanh district, Kien Giang province. They were issued visa to enter Vietnam legally. On October 27, the Vietnamese authority started harassing and intimidating them. The authority threatened the Abbot of the Khmer-Krom temple for not allowing them to attend the Kathina ceremony. Thus, they had to leave Vietnam in the morning of October 28.

When they arrived at the border Hà Tiên – Prek Chak (Việt Nam – Kampuchia), they were detained for more than 10 hours for intimidating. They were accused of taking pictures illegally, participated in demonstrating with the opposite party in Cambodia, and participating with the activities of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation. They also were threatened to be fined from 5 to 15 million dong (around $250-$750) and told them to stop participating with the opposite party and Khmer-Krom organizations in Cambodia. Before they were deported back to Cambodia, the Vietnamese border guards took 2 iPhone, 6 Samsung Galaxy phones and $300.

Vietnam is a member of Asean and now also member of the UN Human Rights Council. Vietnam should respect the right to travel of the Khmer-Krom from Cambodia to Vietnam. The Khmer-Krom should enjoy the right to freely going back to their hometown in Vietnam to celebrate their cultural and Buddhist events, such as Kathina. The Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia must investigate and return the confiscated phones and money back to the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monks and Buddhist followers.

Ref: http://www.rfa.org/vietnamese/in_depth/kkrom-denoun-vn-bord-gua-11062014...

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