Group Calls for Protests Against US Deportations

Cambodians who were deported from the U.S. are calling for protests against the latest move by the U.S. to send more Cambodian citizens back to a country many have never seen, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

“We are calling on all our allies in the US to come together and protest the deportation of the 36 Cambodians currently held in detention” in the U.S., the group 1Love Cambodia said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak on Tuesday repeated Cambodia’s desire to renegotiate a 2002 bilateral agreement allowing the U.S. to deport Cambodians who are legal permanent U.S. residents if they have been convicted of a felony.

“This MoU [memorandum of understanding] should be on the table for rediscussion or renegotiation,” General Sopheak said, while also confirming that Cambodia would accept 36 new deportees.

1Love Cambodia said they were concerned that the U.S. was “violating international standards” by continuing to push deportations when Cambodia was requesting that changes be made to the MoU.

In December, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said the agreement remained “in force and unchanged.”

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