Monday, November 20, 2017
   
Text Size

Type your search here

Press Releases

KKF Put Forth Questions and Recommendations for US-VN 18th Session of Human Rights Dialog

Open Questions and Recommendations for the 18th Session of the U.S.-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue

Silence of Indigenous Voice and Prosecution of Khmer-Krom Religious Leaders in Vietnam
Venerable Thach Thuol, Venerable Lieu Ny Facing Unjust Trial

On May 9, 2014, the U.S. Department of State released a Media Note regarding to the 18th session of the U.S.-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue that will be held from May 12-13, 2014 in Washington DC. According to the Media Note, “Freedom of expression, rule of law, disability rights, freedom of religion, labor rights, and other human rights issues will be raised over the course of the two days.”

On behalf of the voiceless Khmer-Krom in Vietnam, we hope that the following questions and recommendations would be discussed frankly in the dialog:

 

Rights to Freedom of Expression, Press and Information

In its national report submitting to United Nations Human Rights Council on 8 November 2013, Vietnam claims that “The rights to freedom of expression, press and information are enshrined in the Constitution and laws...” Unfortunately, Vietnam continues to arrest and imprison bloggers.

Vietnam also claims that “By March 2013, there are 812 print newspapers and 1,084 publications...” 812 print newspapers and 1,084 publications”. In reality, there are no publicly-run or privately-run media operating in Vietnam. Human Rights documents are not even allowed to be distributed so the people can learn about their rights. For example, Vietnam allowed the UNDRIP to be translated to Vietnamese (http://www.na.gov.vn/nnsvn/upload/images/Attach/Quyen_cua_nguoi_thieu_so%20va%20ban%20dia.pdf), but this document is not allowed to be freely distributed in Vietnam. Thus, there are very few Indigenous Peoples that know about the existence of this document.

 

Questions:

  1. How does Vietnam guarantee Freedom of Expression if it continues to have the “Penal Code, Article 258” in its constitution?

  1. In recognition of those who exercised their basic right to speak, will Vietnam release Venerable Thach Thuol who was sentenced for 6 years in prison in September 27, 2013 for conducting an interview expressing his concern about practicing Theravada Buddhism in fear?

    Read more: KKF Put Forth Questions and Recommendations for US-VN 18th Session of Human Rights Dialog

KKF Urgent Appeals - September 20, 2013

 

Letter of Appeal - June 4th, 2013: Protesting Human Rights Violation

4th June 2013

Protest_USA_june

Today, we gather in front of the Vietnamese Embassies in Washington DC (United States), in Ottawa (Canada), in Paris (France), in Canberra (Australia), in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and elsewhere to protest the recent human rights and religious persecution of our Khmer-Krom Buddhist Monks from Prey Chop Temple and Ta Set Temple as well as several Khmer-Krom Buddhist followers by the Vietnamese government.

Khmer Krom Protest gathering 2013, June 4th

We are here to DEMAND Vietnam stop prosecuting our Khmer-Krom Monks for exercising for their rights to express their opinions.

Our Khmer-Krom Buddhist Monks are the heart and soul of the indigenous Khmer-Krom peoples in our homeland. To defrock, torture and imprison our defenseless Khmer-Krom Buddhist Monks is a direct violation of the International Religious Freedom Act, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

 

Vietnam often boasts at the international arena that it respects the rights of all people living within its borders but recent events tell a different disturbing tale especially with its treatment of the indigenous Khmer-Krom peoples.

On May 16th 2013, Vietnam authorities attempted to defrock three Khmer-Krom monks in Soc Trang for allegedly contacting outside organizations. The first monk, Venerable Ly Chanh Da from Prey Chop Temple was taken by Vietnamese authorities, forced to defrock, tortured until unconscious and called the Khmer-Krom villagers to pick him up at the police station. When the local villages picked him, he was incoherent and they tried to administrate medication. Out of respect to the unjustifiable defrocking, they placed Buddhist robes back on Venerable Ly Chanh Da. Vietnamese authorities came back with a television crew and publicly defrocked Venerable Ly Chanh Da again and forced him to confession on live television. Three women who supported Venerable Ly Chanh Da was also taken into custody and remains in jail.

More than a hundred Vietnamese police and local authority representatives then headed to Ta Set temple and tried to defrock Abbot Lieu Ny and Venerable Thach Thuol. With the help of 300 followers who believed in the monks’ innocence, they were unsuccessful. Abbot Lieu Ny, Venerable Thach Thuol, Tra Tha and Thach Phum Rich were captured on May 20th 2013. Their conditions and whereabouts remains unknown. We greatly fear for their safety.

 

On behalf of our defenseless Buddhist monks and people who are currently held in the custody, we ask Vietnam to release Abbot Lieu Ny and Venerable Thach Thuol immediately without condition on harm.

• Reaffirm and remind Vietnam that under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), our Buddhist Monks have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

• Ask Vietnam to stop violating Article 5 of the UDHR which states that No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

• Remind Vietnam Article 19 of the UDHR, states that our Khmer-Krom monks have the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

• Ask Vietnam to stop using our sacred Theravada Buddhism religion and our monks as a means to extend political control over our people.

• Remind Vietnam to treat our Khmer-Krom monks with respect and dignity.

• Ask Vietnam to release Thach Phum Rich and Tra Tha safely to their families.

• Ask Vietnam to provide much needed medical aid and to allow Venerable Ly Chanh Da to re-ordain as a Buddhist monk and return safely to his temple.

• Ask the U.S. Secretary of State to put Vietnam back on the list of “Country of Particular Concern”

• We urgent appeal to all civic society, Foreign Embassies as well as all citizens that respect and support human rights and religious freedom to help us spread the words about the flight of our defenseless monks and civilians.

We are here because we have the right to conduct peaceful demonstration to protest the violent actions of the Vietnamese government has committed against our voiceless people. We know for a fact that if we did this in our homeland of Kampuchea-Krom, we would be prosecuted; our monks would be defrocked and imprisoned.

We are here today to remind Vietnam that Human Rights and Religious Freedom are rights, not privilege. Stop the violence against our people. Stop treating us as second class citizens. We only ask for equal, unbiased rights that guaranteed under UDHR and UNDRIP.

Australia protest, June 4th 2013

 
Australia protest, June 4th, 2013

 

 

Vietnam Must Release Khmer-Krom Buddhist Monks NOW

KKF Visits Cambodia

Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation delegates are in Cambodia to visit Khmer-Krom refugees and at the same time attended the Indigenous Asian conference in Phnom Penh lead by Mrs. Vicki, Chairperson of UNPFII and UN Special Rapporteur, Professor Stephanhagen. Listen to RFA Report in Khmer (13 Minutes into the program)

Page 2 of 3

© Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation 1999-2017. Some Rights Reserved.