Another Montagnard in Phnom Penh, UN Says

Another Montagnard asylum-seeker has arrived in Phnom Penh, joining 10 others who are still in the capital after having their requests to have their refugee claims processed rejected, according to the U.N.

“This morning, a Montagnard asylum seeker sought the aid of our office in Phnom Penh,” Wan-Hea Lee, country representative for the Office of the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in an email. 

“Our staff brought him to the [Interior Ministry’s] Refugee Department for registration. He was refused, bringing to 11 the number of known asylum seekers in the city who have been denied registration.”

Ms. Lee said that the situation of 10 other Montagnards who arrived in Phnom Penh in recent months “remains unchanged; they remain unable to register.”

The government has been erratic in its handling of the asylum-seekers. Police deported 36 Montagn­ards attempting to make the trip from Ratanakkiri province to Phnom Penh in February.

However, just days later the government recognized the refugee status of 13 others escorted to Phnom Penh in December.

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