Home > Local News > United States Must Support Cambodia & Uphold UN Refugee Convention

United States Must Support Cambodia & Uphold UN Refugee Convention

21 December 2010
The Hague, 21st December 2010
Just over one year ago the United States Embassy in Phnom Penh stated
it was “deeply concerned” about the welfare of twenty Uyghurs deported
under the cover of night from Cambodia to China, but today their cases
are almost forgotten.
The whereabouts of those twenty Uyghurs
remains unknown amid longstanding and deep-rooted fears for their
safety.  The Chinese government has disappeared these Uyghurs. 
Moreover, Cambodia was fully aware prior to returning these
Uyghurs that they would be subject to grave human rights violations
upon their return.
In 2010 the United States and the
Kingdom of Cambodia marked their 60th Anniversary of diplomatic
relations amid messages of “peace, stability and development” from H.M.
King Norodom Sihamoni and President Obama’s desire that “human rights,
and strengthening democratic institutions” be a continuing feature of
the relationship.
Both that relationship and the validity
of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its
associated protocols are at risk.  Cambodia’s decision to speed the
closure of the UNHCR asylum centre in Phnom Penh is rash and for those
that could face deportation, puts their lives at risk.
It is crucial therefore that the United States press the Cambodia
authorities to live up to their obligations as a party to the UN
Convention and at the same time raise an official démarche calling on
Beijing to reveal the whereabouts of the twenty missing Uyghurs. 
Marino Busdachin
General Secretary
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization

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