Vietnamese Authority detains a Khmer-Krom family

On April 12, 2013, Mr. Ly Chhuon, an Editor-in-Chief of the PreyNokorNews magazine in Cambodia, his wife and his daughter left Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to visit his relatives in Kampuchea-Krom (Mekong Delta) during the Cambodian New Year. His family wants to celebrate Cambodian New Year with his relatives in his homeland.

When Mr. Ly Chhuon and his family arrived at the border of Cambodia and Vietnam, they were not allowed to enter Vietnam and had been searched by the Vietnamese custom officers. They have been interrogated, detained and their whereabouts are still unknown.

There were many cases that the Khmer-Krom abroad had been issued the Visa to visit their relatives in Mekong Delta, but when they arrived at their airport, they were denied to enter Vietnam. On March 22, Mr. Son Subert, an adviser to the King of Cambodia, and his friends were stopped at the border and not allowed to enter Vietnam even they had Visa issued by the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia. Mr. Son Subert planned to travel to Vietnam and visit his relatives in Preah Trapeang (Tra Vinh) province.

When the Khmer-Krom people visit Vietnam, they have always been interrogated at the airport or the border. While visiting their relatives, the Khmer-Krom people always face intimidating situations. For example, the Vietnamese authority sends Polices (without wearing uniform) pretending to visit them. The Police start questioning about the activities of the Khmer-Krom abroad. Some time, the Vietnamese Police even ask the Khmer-Krom to work as secret agents for the Vietnamese government to monitor the activities of the Khmer-Krom abroad.

It is time for Vietnam to stop violating the basic human rights against the Khmer-Krom. The Khmer-Krom abroad should have their rights to freely visit their homeland. They should not be denied entering Vietnam. They should not be interrogated or detained either.

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