Aug 13, 2008

Khmer Krom: Tim Sakhorn Remains Under Detention

Active ImageVietnamese authorities have prevented the Khmer Krom monk from uniting with his family in Cambodia.
Below is an appeal published by the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation:
Venerable Tim Sakhorn, a former Khmer Krom Buddhist monk at North Phnom Denh pagoda, Takeo province, in Cambodia, still remains under detention at his relative’s house in Don-To commune, Ba Chuc Village, Tri Ton district, An Giang province.

On June 30, 2007, Venerable Tim Sakhorn was arrested, defrocked and deported by Cambodia authorities to Vietnam. On November 8, 2007, a criminal court in An Giang province sentenced Venerable Tim Sakhorn to one year imprisonment under Article 87 of Vietnam’s panel code on the charges of “Undermining National Unity”.

On June 28, 2008, Venerable Tim Sakhorn was seen leaving prison in the company of Vietnamese authorities. His whereabouts was unknown until just last week.

New information has revealed that Venerable Tim Sakhorn is currently living with his uncle under the tight surveillance of two Vietnamese officers. The officers are residing at the same place as Venerable Tim Sakhorn and are monitoring his movement 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

According to the sentence by the Vietnam Court on November 8, 2007, Venerable Tim Sakhorn should have been given the option to return to Cambodia to unite with his family, especially to see his aged and ailing father.

This latest action by Vietnamese authorities clearly shows that they are violating the Vietnam’s Court order and taking the law into their own hands.

Today, Venerable Tim Sakhorn remains a helpless and voiceless victim and continues to be restricted in his basic freedom and movement.

In this regard, I would like to urgently appeal for your assistance to:

•Urge Vietnam to obey its own national law by removing the Vietnamese officers who have been employed to intimidate and monitor Venerable Tim Sakhorn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

•Urge Vietnam to return Venerable Tim Sakhorn safely to live with his family in Cambodia.

Thach Ngoc Thach
President of Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation