Lawmaker Requests To See Monk Detained in Vietnam

SRP lawmaker Son Chhay has made a special request to the Vietnamese Embassy that he be allowed to visit Khmer Krom monk Tim Sakhorn, who is un­der unofficial house arrest in Vietnam since being released from prison there in June. 

In the letter to Vietnamese Am­bassador Nguyen Chien Than, Son Chhay, who chairs the Na­tional Assembly foreign affairs com­mittee, wrote that he wished to see for himself the conditions under which the ethnic Khmer monk is living.

Tim Sakhorn has not returned to Cambodia since the end of his one-year prison sentence for allegedly undermining “friendly relations” between Cambodia and Vietnam.

Son Chhay claimed that he had seen a document from the Viet­namese Ministry of Public Se­curity that ordered Tim Sakhorn to return home to Takeo province before July 2.

“An explanation is needed on why Tim Sakhorn is still in Viet­nam,” he wrote in the Sept 8 letter to the ambassador, a copy of which was obtained Tuesday.

Tim Sakhorn’s brother Tim Ban said he had been allowed to speak with Tim Sakhorn by telephone Monday, and had told him Son Chhay was intervening in his case in an effort to have him returned home to Cambodia.

“[Tim Sakhorn] said he is hap­py to return to Cambodia,” Tim Ban said.

“He said he is staying in a jail without a cell. He is still being detained,” Tim Ban added.

Tim Ban also said that his fa­ther, Tim Teang, intended to travel with Son Chhay if permission is given to visit Tim Sakhorn.

He added that he feared for his brother’s health.

“He has swelling,” he said, though he added that he did not know the disease.

Vietnamese Embassy spokes­man Trinh Ba Cam could not be reached Tuesday.

An embassy official reached Tuesday afternoon said he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

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