Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Census deportations hit 142 in single day

Census deportations hit 142 in single day

Census deportations hit 142 in single day

Vietnamese nationals were deported en masse this week from Svay Rieng province, with 142 illegal migrants sent back across the border in a single day, as Cambodia’s nationwide census of foreigners continues, officials said yesterday.

General Sok Phal, director of the Interior Ministry’s Immigration Department, said the 142 Vietnamese nationals were gathered on Wednesday and “deported back to Vietnam because they did not have any documents”.

According to Phal, since the first census deportations in September, 306 foreigners have been forced to leave.

The census has been presented as a government effort to take a more precise count of foreigners living in Cambodia and enforce the country’s Immigration Law. It has been celebrated by some observers as a chance to develop a clearer policy regarding undocumented Vietnamese. But concerns have also been raised that Vietnamese people could be unfairly targeted and deported.

Phal yesterday stressed that illegal migrants of all nationalities and races had been given the same treatment.

They have been “deported to their own country regardless of white or black skin”, he said, adding that Chinese, Thai and Nigerian nationals were among those discovered to be living here illegally.

However, he added, 70 per cent of the deportees were Vietnamese.

Deputy director of the immigration department Mam Srim Vanna, who is conducting the census in Svay Rieng, said he was not sure when it would be complete.

Ratanakkiri deported at least 12 Vietnamese nationals living there illegally in September.

Ang Chanrith, executive director of the Minority Rights Organization, said he continued to “support the government process to figure out where the illegal immigrants are”.

“They must be deported. This is the law,” he said. But, Chanrith added, the government “should clarify its policy” on children born in Cambodia to Vietnamese parents.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all