Montagnard Family Sent Back to Vietnam

A Montagnard family returned to Vietnam on Wednesday after requesting that authorities help them return to the country they fled two years before, an official said, refuting a local media report that they had been arrested and deported.

Rochom Bit and his wife, Pouy Y Chat, both 32 and

of Jarai ethnicity, left Vietnam for Cambodia in 2015 with their two daughters, Ratanakkiri deputy provincial

police chief Chea Bunthoeun said.

Mr. Bunthoeun said he did not know the reasons why

the family fled Vietnam’s Central Highlands. However, hundreds have traveled to Ratanakkiri since late 2014, complaining of widespread political and religious persecution at the hands of the Hanoi government.

Despite initially staying in Cambodia, the family went to Thailand so the parents could work but returned to Cambodia in recent weeks and requested the assistance of authorities to return to Vietnam, said the police chief.

“The couple returned from Thailand and stayed for a moment in Ratanakkiri province. They came to our authorities and they asked for help from us to send them back home,” said Mr. Bunthoeun.

He refuted a story published on the DAP News website

on Thursday stating that the family was detained in a guest-

house in Banlung City before being questioned and


“The family came to communicate with our authorities and we compromised to accompany them to return to Vietnam through O’yadaw Border International Checkpoint,” he


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