UN Agency Concerned Over More Montagnard Asylum Seekers

ICC Note: The longstanding persecution of the Montagnards in Vietnam, for political and/or religious reasons, has been well documented.  We call on the Cambodian government to be responsive to the plight of the Montagnard asylum seekers and to live up to their international obligations.

By Neou Vannarin

 05/05/2015 Cambodia (Voice of America)

UN officials say they remain concerned over the wellbeing of Vietnamese Montagnard asylum seekers who flee to Cambodia, including a new group reportedly in hiding near the border.

Wan Hea Lee, country representative for the UN rights office in Cambodia, said in an email Friday her agency “is very concerned about Cambodia’s compliance with its obligations under international refugee and human rights law, as we are for the well-being of those still in Ratanakkiri (province).”

In March, Cambodia recognized the asylum status of 13 Montagnards, who claim they face political and religious persecution in Vietnam. About 40 others are reportedly waiting in Phnom Penh to be granted status.

But an unknown number of others have been caught at the border and turned back in recent months, contravening international law and rights norms.

Rights workers say they know of at least 23 more asylum seekers currently in hiding in the remote province.

 

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