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Montagnards

Between seven and 30 Vietnamese Montagnards are under the care of the UN High Commissioner

for Refugees (UNHCR) in a safe house in Phnom Penh in a bid to secure their rights

as asylum seekers. The Ministry of Interior has expressed its disapproval of the

situation. "UNHCR made a unilateral decision without the knowledge or support

of the Cambodian authorities to bring more than 30 people to Phnom Penh," said

ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak. Local human rights organization Adhoc said that

negotiations are underway between Cambodian authorities and UNHCR to come to an agreement.

A UN representative said Cambodia's history of "just returning refugees is under

total contravention of its obligations" enshrined in the 1951 Convention Relating

to the Status of Refugees.

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