Eight local associations representing the Khmer Krom community submitted a petition to the Vietnamese Embassy on Wednesday in support of a European Union resolution calling on Vietnam to cease violating the rights of its ethnic Khmer population.
On Oct 22, the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed the resolution, which lists a number of alleged human rights abuses by the Vietnamese government, and included reference to the plight of the Khmer Krom.
“They still violate human rights of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom and the Khmer Krom monks,” Ang Chanrith, president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Human Rights Organization, adding that the joint petition was submitted to show support for the EU’s position.
In the resolution, the EU called on the Vietnamese government “to immediately provide full freedom from house arrest to …Khmer Krom monk Tim Sakhorn.”
Tim Sakhorn disappeared in June 2007 shortly after being defrocked and ejected from the monkhood by Cambodian religious authorities who accused him of “undermining the relationship” between Phnom Penh and Hanoi.
Tim Sakhorn turned up some weeks later in a Vietnamese prison where he had been jailed for so-called political crimes. He has been under house arrest in Vietnam since his release in May.
Vietnamese Embassy spokesman Trinh Ba Cam said by telephone Wednesday afternoon that he had not received the petition. He also denied that Vietnam was a human rights abuser.
“There are no human rights violations in Vietnam,” he said.