Men Claim Abuse, Detention by VN Officials

Vietnamese authorities allegedly detained and beat two men from Ra­tanakkiri province last week af­ter they were accused of en­cour­aging Montagnards to cross the border into Cambodia, one of the men said Monday.

Sol Vanna and Sol Thon were de­­­tained in Vietnam on Thursday and released Friday after Sol Van­na’s father, Pouy Lory, a commune chief in O’Yadaw district, asked more senior Cambodian of­ficials to intervene, Sol Vanna said.

“They arrested us on Thursday morning and detained us for one night,” said Sol Vanna of the district’s Sorm Kaning village. “They beat us the whole night.”

Ly Quang Binh, political counselor for the Vietnamese Em­bas­sy, said Monday that he had not heard anything about the pair’s al­leged detention.

The two men were held in Bak Keu district in the Vietnamese prov­ince of Gia Lai, Sol Vanna said, after they were accused of pro­vi­d­ing funds for fleeing Montagnards.

He said the pair were visiting the border to buy gasoline when they were asked to visit a Vietnamese po­lice station.

After crossing the border “they ar­­rested us and accused us of pro­viding funds to Montagnards to get into Cambodia,” Sol Vanna said.

He denied providing funds to Montagnards.

Before releasing the pair, Vietnamese police confiscated $3.75 from Sol Vanna and swapped new­er parts of his motorbike with older ones, he said.

Pouy Lory, Som Thom commune chief, corroborated his son’s story and said his other son, Sol Ngic, 30, who lives in Gia Lai province’s Pa Nok village, is missing after being detained by Vietnamese authorities on June 24, al­so accused of providing funds to Montagnards wanting to flee.

“I am worried about my son’s safety. I don’t know if he is dead or alive. I am communicating with Viet­namese authorities, but they say they do not know my son’s whereabouts.”

Pouy Lory said he has asked lo­cal rights group Adhoc to help him locate his son.

Pen Bonnar, provincial coordi­na­­tor for Adhoc, said he had been in­formed of the case, as well as the al­leged detention and beating.

“If they arrest them, they have to solve this legally, not through beating and torture,” Pen Bonnar said.

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