KKF Open letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

October 24, 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street N.W. Washington, DC 20520 Subject: Vietnam’s Human Rights Violations and Religious Persecutions Against Khmer-Krom People Dear Secretary Clinton: During your upcoming meetings with the governments in Hanoi and in Phnom Penh, I would like to bring these two following issues to your attention: (1) The Human Rights Violations and Religious Persecutions Against the Indigenous Khmer-Krom Peoples in the Mekong Delta of Southern Vietnam and (2) the Khmer-Krom Refugees Status in Cambodia and Thailand. Click here to read a complete letter

An Appeal for Justice for the Killing of a Khmer-Krom Youth in Prey Nokor City

To: International Labour Organization (ILO), International Human Rights Organizations, UN Human Rights Council, Democratic Governments, International Media Background A Khmer Krom youth, named Mr. Son Van Thanh, was stabbed numerous times by a Vietnamese assailant with the tailoring knives and scissors. The attack took place in Ho Chi Minh (HCM) city, south Vietnam. From the vicious attack, Mr. Son Van Thanh’s body was having the major internal and external bleeding and the attacked scissors were still stuck in the wounds. Some of his friends rushed Mr. Son to a hospital in the HCM city, but he was refused emergency treatments due to his lack of money. After 4-hours of waiting at the hospital and when his relatives found some fund, Mr. Son finally received a surgery to remove the scissors from his body and to treat the open wounds. After the surgery, Mr. Son was later transferred to another hospital in the city named the 115 Hospital. The 115 Hospital assured that his health condition was normal and Mr. Son was discharged to come home. Mr. Son Van Thanh was later died after the discharge. Mr. Son Van Thanh died alone in HCM city at 2:15pm on September 18, 2010. Mr. Son Van Thanh, a male and age 17, who resided in Bich Tri (Bach Trey in Khmer) hamlet, Hoa Thuan commune, Chau Thanh district, Tra Vinh province. Mr. Son Van Thanh recently went to work for a construction company in HCM city in order to support his disabled father. Mr. Son Van Thanh was the only child of the family. The Motives of the Death Based on the information received from the victim family, the incidence took place on several alleged reasons: • Mr. Son Van Thanh went to buy a meal at a market in HCM city and was insulted by the Vietnamese assailant. The two got into an altercation and the assailant attacked the victim with scissors and tailoring knives. • Mr. Son Van Thanh was poor and alone in the city; hence the hospital refused his emergency treatments. • Mr. Son Van Thanh is a Khmer Krom individual hence both hospitals he visited discriminated him based on his race and they treated his medical needs on a non-emergency basis. The delay and lack of treatments caused the loss of Mr. Son Van Thanh’s life. No Justice for the Khmer Krom Victim So far the cost of the hospital expenses and the transport of the victim’s body from the HCM city to his hometown in Tra Vinh province was 20 million dongs while the assailant’s compensation which only offered 10 million dongs. The victim family is still in debt of all other costs to this point. In term of justice, the Vietnamese authorities have taken very little or no legal action against the Vietnamese assailant. The un-important treatments by the Vietnamese authorities toward the Khmer Krom cases such as this fundamentally encourage the Vietnamese society as a whole to discriminate against Khmer Krom victims even more so. On behalf of the Khmer-Krom victim and their voiceless family in Tra Vinh province, we would like to urgently appeal for your assistance to: • Urge Vietnamese authorities to immediately investigate, apprehend and punish the perpetrator who was involved in the attack as part of their commitment to just society and to combat racial discrimination. • Urge that the government of Vietnam to generously compensate for the loss and the pains suffered by the victim and their family. • Urge that the government of Vietnam to train the hospitals or medical centers on race relations when it comes to dealing with the non-Kinh patients. • Urge Vietnam to set up social programs/agencies in urban centers to assist Khmer-Krom migrant workers in time of needs. Respectfully Yours, Thach Ngoc Thach KKF President