Mar 03, 2011

Khmer Krom: Appeal for Khmer-Krom Wrongly Imprisoned in Ho Chi Minh City

The President of the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation, Thach Ngoc Thach, asks attention for a typical example of an unfair trial targeting the Khmer-Krom.


Below is a press release published by the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation:


Mr. Lam Huol, a local Khmer-Krom, age 37 was born in Gia Rai district, Bac Lieu province, Mekong Delta (south Vietnam). Mr. Lam Huol came to the city to find work and had been resided at Ward 11, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). On November

12, 2009, Mr. Lam Huol was involved in the traffic accident and was seriously injured where his right hand was broken by the heavy impact of the transport truck with a license plate # 62L-7544. The transport truck was driven by Mr. Nguyen Huu Phuoc, a local Vietnamese, while Mr. Lam Huol was riding a motorbike.


Not only Mr. Lam Huol was seriously injured and not being compensated by the perpetrator, but he was arrested on the spot on the basis for violating the traffic law. Mr. Lam Huol was arrested by the police of district 6, HCMC and currently being jailed

at the “Bà Lài” prison in Saigon city (HCMC).


Based on the February 11, 2011 RFA broadcast in Vietnamese, the investigative deputy police of district 6, Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. Phan Si Viet has taken the bribe from Mr. Nguyen Huu Phuoc in order to falsify the report so that Mr. Lam Huol was the cause of the accident.


Mrs. Kim Thi Hien, a mother of Mr. Lam claimed that the police of district 6 have held her son in jail since the accident on November 12, 2009. On October 10, 2010, the “rigged” court of district 6 put Mr. Lam on trial and sentenced him to three years

prison term. Mrs. Kim also told RFA news that while her son’s health condition has deteriorated at a precarious level and still received no medical attention from authorities. On January 17, 2011, Mrs. Kim has to bribe the police in order to bring her son

out for a surgery at the Medical University Hospital in HCMC. After the surgery, the police ordered Mr. Lam to be brought back to jail immediately, unless Mrs. Kim pays the police 10 million dongs (Vietnamese currency) in bribe.


Based on RFA news, a local attorney in HCMC, Nguyen Hai, claimed that the case of Mr. Lam is very common for the local authorities to take bribe and persuade the court to wrongly convict the victims. Attorney Nguyen Hai also reiterated that under

the rule-of-law the court of district 6 had sentenced Mr. Lam for a three years term was deceitful and unjust for a traffic violation.


Vietnam government has continued to oppress the Khmer-Krom people by using the judicial system to unfairly trial the local Khmer-Krom, as in the case of Mr. Lam here.

We the KKF would like to appeal for the just world, NGOs, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International in bringing about a fair trial for Mr. Lam and put to pressure on the government of Vietnam to clean up its rogue judicial system and its corrupt

police force, in order to prevent future miscarriage of justice against innocent Khmer-Krom victims.


Sincerely yours,


Thach Ngoc Thach

KKF President