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Vietnam Disregards UNHCR Agreement and Arrests and Tortures more Montagnard Returnees: Other Returnees Forced to Renounce Christ

The Montagnard Foundation (01/19/06)

Two Degar Montagnards named “Siu Nang” and “Rmah Non” were arrested on January 6, 2006 at approximately 9:00 am, when the police from Cu Se district went to the village of Plei Pah , Vietnam and dragged them through the village accusing them of having fled to Cambodia . The police had handcuffed them and in front of other villagers commenced beating and kicking them all the way from their village along the road until they arrived at the prison in Cu Se district. Previously in August 2005, these two Degar Montagnard Christians were under protection of the UNHCR in Cambodia and believing the assurances that they would not be harmed as told to them by the UNHCR they agreed to voluntarily return to Vietnam to be with their families. It is unknown what happened to them further as their families are not currently allowed to visit them and they are still imprisoned at Cu Se district prison facility. Siu Nang was born in 1966 and Rmah Non was born in 1975. Both are from the village of Plei Pah , commune Ia Hla, district Cu Se, Gia Lai Province , Vietnam .

Degar Montagnard Returnee Escapes Arrest and Flees to Jungle

On January 11, 2006 at approximately 6 am a team of security force and police from the commune and district went to village of Plei Wel , commune Ia Ko, district Cu Se, Gia Lai Province searching for a Degar Montagnard named “Siu Nam ”. Luckily however, he managed to escape. Siu Nam also was an asylum seeker previously in Cambodia who was actually forced to return to Vietnam by the UNHCR on July 20, 2005. He had been living with his family back in Vietnam for 5 months and 20 days before Vietnamese authorities tried arresting him. He was born in 1981 and has been hiding in the jungle ever since first police tried apprehending him in January.

Seccurity Forces announce they will arrest all Montagnard Returnees

On December 24, 2005 the security forces from the commune of Ia Ko announced to the Montagnard villagers there that they will eventually arrest all Montagnard Degar refugees who had been returned to Vietnam from Cambodia . This announcement scared the Montagnard refugees who just had been returned to Vietnam and villagers alike, and in turn only forces more of them to want to flee to Cambodia . The Vietnamese communist government however has sent thousands of troops to the Central Highlands border regions to ambush, arrest and even kill Montagnards who try crossing the border.

Montagnard Degars Forced to Renounce Christ

On December 24, 2005 the police from the district of Cu Se security force went to the village of Plei Wel and arrested our Christian brother named “Kpa Bo” who had been forced to return to Vietnam on July 20, 2005 along with another villager named “Rahlan Sop” and took them to Cu Se district prison. Here Kpa Bo and Rahlan Sop were told to renounce Christ and were tortured by beatings and kicking for days until they signed a document stating they renounce Christ. Finally they could not bear the brutality of the torture, eventually signing the document whereupon they were released from prison on January 2, 2006.