Home > Local News > A Khmer Krom man arrested by Vietnamese authority after UN repatriated his family

A Khmer Krom man arrested by Vietnamese authority after UN repatriated his family

By Khmerization
Source: RFA
A
Khmer Krom man has been arrested by the Vietnamese police, less than
one hour after his family was repatriated from Thailand when his
application for a political asylum was rejected by the UNHCR.
Chau
Hen (pictured) and his family had sought a political asylum with the UN
in Thailand in 2008, but his application was rejected. He and his
family was assured by the UNHCR that his family will be safe to return
back to Vietnam and they were repatriated on 17th December, 2010.
However, Neang Thuon, Chau Hen’s wife, said less than one hour after arriving back to their home in
Vietnam, the Vietnamese police immediately arrived to take Chau Hen
away, charging him with escaping to Thailand and that they told her
that his fate will be known by 20th December. “We arrived back from
Thailand and rested for less than one hour and they came to take him to
the commune’s office from 4 p.m till after 6 p.m and they took him in a
car to the district’s office. Now he is detained at the district’s
office. Now, they summoned me with a letter to go to face the authority
on the 20th”,
she said,
Mr.
Thach Setha, president of Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association in Cambodia,
blamed the UNHCR for rejecting his claims and repatriating his family
back to Vietnam. “I think that the UN has a very big responsibility
(for his arrest) because he was arrested because of his protest
(against the Vietnamese authority) and he sought protection from the
UN, but the UN did not accept his claims which caused him hardship and
so he has to return home because the UN did not believe his claims that
he was persecuted by the Vietnamese authority. Now, it is evident. So,
the UN has the obligation to intervene to free him”,
he said.
Neang
Thuon said on 8th April 2008 her husband had led 600 Khmer Krom farmers
to protest against the confiscation of their lands by the Vietnamese
authority in 1980. She added that at 3 a.m on the morning of 9th April, a hand grenade was thrown into her house by unknown assailants. Her husband then decided to escape to Thailand to seek protection. “The UN rejected our application since August, that’s why we decided to return back to our ancestral lands”, she said.
At the time of this story going to air, Radio Free Asia was unable to reach the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh for comments.
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