September 1, 2006

UNPO on Vietnamese official's rape of underage Khmer Krom girl

The Hague, 30 August 2006 - UNPO remains concerned about crime of rape committed against Khmer Individual in Vietnam by an authority leader. UNPO has issued an appeal to the Prime Minister of Vietnam Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, urging him to provide legal advocacy to the victim and to ensure the case is given proceedings meeting international standards for free and fair trials.

UNPO urges the Prime Minister to take measures to actively prevent human rights violations and crimes targeting the Khmer Krom people; and to ensure that alleged crimes and their perpetrators are subject to due procedures and impartial investigation.


Background

On 31 May 2001 an authority leader committed the internationally recognized crime of rape in Suburban II, Chau Van Liem Town, O Mon District, Can Tho Province, South Vietnam. His victim was 15 years at the time and became pregnant as a result of the crime.

Upon learning of the crime and the identity of the perpetrator, the victim’s mother, an indigenous Khmer Krom who lives in Suburban II, Chau Van Liem Town, approached this leader in 2001. However, her approach was met with disregard. Subsequently, in pursuit of justice for her daughter, she brought the case before the district court and filed the case in 2001. During this time, her daughter gave birth to the biological child of the authority leader, a girl now 5 years old.

Until present, an official from the O Mon District has failed to facilitate follow-up and ensure a hearing of the case, denying the alleged crime as false accusation. There is concern that the lack of progress in the case results from the friendly relations between the accused and the District Officials, and it has been reported that an official from the O Mon District has effectively prevented the case from being properly submitted to the court. Furthermore, UNPO is concerned that the case has not been given serious consideration due to the fact that the victim is an indigenous Khmer Krom and member of a largely marginalised community.

 

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