26 Feb 2007 By Ros Sokhit Radio Free Asia Translated from Khmer by Heng Soy of KI Media The Vietnamese authority forced 3 Khmer Krom monks to defrock last Saturday, and accused them of acting as leaders in a demonstration against the communist regime. Monk Thach Bin, a representative of the Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF) in Cambodia, told RFA on Wednesday that the 3 monks forced to defrock are: Monks Kim Moeun, Thach Deur, and Thach Svieng Hea. The three monks reside in a pagoda in Khleang province (Soc Trang in Vietnamese), in Kampuchea Krom (South Vietnam). The Vietnamese authority released 4 monks among the 9 monks arrested by the Vietnamese authority last Friday. However, the other 5 monks are still being jailed [by the Viet authority]: “I am informing you that up to now, the Viet authority has released 4 monks.” Recently, two organizations: the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Human Rights Defense, and the KKF call on the Cambodian government to intervene with the Vietnamese authority to put to an end the arrest of Khmer Krom monks, and forcing them to defrock. Mu Sochua, SRP Secretary-General, said that the action taken by the Viet authority is a serious violation on the religious freedom which is protected by international conventions. Mu Sochua said: “The SRP condemns the violation of the rights of Buddhist Kampuchea Krom monks, and SRP respects and recognizes our Khmer Kampuchea Krom brothers and sisters as Cambodians who are victims of religious persecutions perpetrated against our Monks.” Up to now, RFA could not contact the Vietnamese authority for clarification on this issue. In the past, the Cambodian authority used to say that it would not ignore this issue. Frequently, Khmer Kampuchea Krom associations and Khmer Kampuchea Krom people have accused the Vietnamese authority of violating their rights and freedom of expression and religious belief.