August 19, 2007
On 8 February 2007, following a peaceful demonstration which gathered 200 Khmer Krom Buddhist Monks in a call for greater religious freedom, Vietnamese authorities arrested, intimidated, defrocked and imprisoned nineteen Khmer-Krom Buddhist Monks. A number remain imprisoned for their role in organising these demonstrations.
On 30 June 2007, the Ven. Tim Sa Khorn, Abbot of the North Phnom-Denh Temple in
On 3 July 2007, General Khieu Sopheak, Spokespersons for the Cambodian Ministry of the Interior, announced that Tim Sa Khorn, who had been living in
UNPO is greatly disturbed by these recent developments which follow a number of similar acts of persecution aimed at Khmer Krom Buddhist Monks. UNPO condemns also in particular the persecution of individuals associated with the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKF), a UNPO Member organisation noted for its non-violent principles.
UNPO has consequently appealed to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Cambodia to France to:
- Urge respect for the
- Call upon Vietnamese authorities to end their arbitrary and unlawful persecution of the Khmer Krom, in particular of Khmer Krom Buddhist Monks, who play a vital role in preserving and safeguarding the Khmer Krom culture, language, and religion; and
- Urge the Government of Vietnam to ensure the Ven. Tim Sa Khorn is granted his full range of human, civil, and political rights, and receives a free and fair trial compliant with internationally recognised standards of justice.