PRESS RELEASE On August 22, 2007, Radio Free Asia (RFA) broadcasted in Khmer that the Vietnamese authority summoned a Khmer Krom man, Mr. Chau In, living at Sake Deouch commune, An Cu village, Tinh Bien district, An Giang province, to meet the police authorities of Tinh Bien district, An Giang province. Mrs. Kim Pouv Saton, RFA reporter, interviewed Mr. Chau In while he was on his way to meet the police authority. Mr. Chau In told her that the Vietnam authority is trying to accuse him for receiving money from Venerable Tim Sakhorn who is a Cambodian Buddhist monk that was defrocked by Cambodian authority and deported to Vietnam on June 30, 2007. On August 23, 2007, RFA (Mrs. Kim Pouvsaton) interviewed two Khmer Krom women who were imprisoned and threatened to admit an injustice crime for receiving money from Venerable Tim Sakhorn. The first woman is Mrs. Neang Phe, 69 years old, who is living in the same village with Mr. Chau In. She told RFA that she was imprisoned 3 days by the Vietnam authority […]. She said that she is old and she could not remember what they were trying to accuse her. She was so exhausted, so she just shook her head to admit whatever the Vietnam authority accused her so she could go home. The second woman is Mrs. Neang Ve, 50 years old, who is also living in the same village with Mr. Chau In. She was imprisoned for 1 day. The Vietnam authority accused her for receiving money from Ven. Tim Sakhorn. She said that, at this time, Mr. Chau In, Neang Phe, herself, and Chau Son cannot go to work anywhere. They are so afraid and just stay at home. She told RFA to appeal the Human Rights organizations to ask Vietnam to return Ven. Tim Sakhorn back to Cambodia because the Vietnam authority keeps accusing the innocent Khmer Krom for having contact with Ven. Tim Sakhorn. Mr. Chau In, Neang Phe, Chau Son, and Neang Ve are amongst hundreds of farmers from the area known to file numerous complaints to the Vietnam authority demanding for the return of their farmlands since last year. To this date, The Vietnam authority does not resolve the land issues for the poor Khmer Krom farmlands. Based on the interviews that were conducted by Mrs. Kim Pouvsaton with the […] Khmer Krom farmers in Kampuchea Krom, I can see that the Vietnamese authority is trying to find falsity evidence so they could accuse Ven. Tim Sakhorn to be guilty. Vietnam has imprisoned Ven. Tim Sakhorn who is a Cambodian citizen since June 30, 2007. Vietnam has no evident to prove that Ven. Tim Sakhorn is guilty. Thus, Vietnam has to use […] tricks to […] imprison the Khmer Krom farmers, especially an old woman like Mrs. Neang Phe; by accusing them receiving money from Ven. Tim Sakhorn so they can go to the big cities (Can Tho city and Saigon city) to protest to demand returning their farmlands. Fortunately, those Khmer Krom farmers are bravely to speak up with the RFA reporter. In this regards, I would like to urgently appeal for your assistance to:
- Urge Vietnam to return Venerable Tim Sakhorn back to Cambodia unconditionally.
- Urge Vietnam to stop threatening, torturing, and imprisoning the innocent Khmer Krom farmers.
- Urge Vietnam to stop confiscating Khmer Krom’s farmlands and resolve their farmland issues.
- Urge the foreign Embassies in Vietnam to monitor the Khmer Krom Human Rights violations and provide assistant to save the Khmer Krom victims if their life are in danger, such as the case of the people who are mentioned above.
Thanks for your help in advance and I am looking forward to hear from you. Respectfully Yours, Thach Ngoc Thach President of Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation