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Supporters rally: Monks need help, rights groups told

Supporter yesterday urged human rights groups to help two Khmer Kampuchea Krom monks – one who was fired from his pagoda and another who was accused of inciting protesters – because they said they had done nothing wrong.

The Khmer Kampuchea Krom association wrote a letter to Licadho, Adhoc, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and the UN Office of Higher Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, calling on them to intervene to help the Buddhist monks.

In early November, Mok Kampoul district officials in Kandal province forced Khmer Kampuchea Krom Buddhist monk Chea Sovannaphum to leave the Keo Monyvorn pagoda without reason.

Last week, Khmer Kampuchea Krom Buddhist monk Sieng Sovannara, who lives in Samki Raingsey pagoda, was summonsed to Phnom Penh Municipal Court to face accusations of inciting protesters involved in a land dispute in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district.

“On behalf of the organisation and association of Khmer Krom in Cambodia, we are worried very much about these two Khmer Krom monks’ safety,” Son Yoeung, executive director of Khmer Kampuchea Krom for Human Rights and Development Association, said in the letter.

“We need the human rights group to intervene to allow Chea Sovannaphum to return to manage his pagoda and the court officials to stop accusing Sieng Sovannara and stop summonsing him to court,” he said.

“We are waiting to see whether those human right groups can help them, and we will send the letter for help to the government if we still receive nothing,” he said.

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