Jun 12, 2013

Khmer Krom Monks Threatened and Defrocked by Vietnamese Authorities

A recent video publication from the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation details the persecution and discrimination faced by Khmer-Krom Theravada Buddhist monks in Viet Nam. Faced by threats of violence and defrocking, monks and abbots appeal to the international community to intervene and condemn the practices of Viet Nam.

The Khmer-Krom of southern Viet Nam are victims of oppression and marginalisation, including land confiscation and linguistic & religious persecution. This recently produced film focuses on the latter issue, namely religious persecution, and contains testimony from Khmer-Krom monks and abbots who explain the system of repression used against them. Vietnamese authorities have defrocked Khmer-Krom monks for teaching classes in Khmer, and subsequently threatened to defrock other monks for refusing to acknowledge, agree with and accept the original defrocking. Vietnamese authorities have detained and tortured monks, resulting in an atmosphere of apprehension and fear, and established programmes of alienation and exclusion in villages with Khmer-Krom monks, forcing the exile of several prominent figures. Theravada Buddhists protestors who rally against the authorities have been met with further arrests, and have been detained in inhumane conditions.

The members of the Khmer-Krom community issue an appeal to the international community concerning Viet Nam’s threats and intimidation tactics, and request intervention and ask for support of the Khmer-Krom’s human and religious rights.

Chillingly, two days after the filming of the video was completed, several of the monks who gave witness to the situation were arrested and imprisoned. As of 29 May, their whereabouts remain unknown, and Khmer-Krom monks continue to live in fear and trepidation.


Watch the video at