Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Activist twins given refugee status: NGO



Activist twins given refugee status: NGO

Brothers Chum Huor and Chum Huot pose for a photo on a plane departing the Kingdom earlier this month. Photo supplied
Brothers Chum Hour and Chum Hout pose for a photo on a plane departing the Kingdom earlier this month. Photo supplied

Activist twins given refugee status: NGO

Two twin activists who fled Cambodia, claiming they feared for their safety, have been granted United Nations refugee status and have applied for asylum in the US, according to one of the brothers and an organisation supporting them.

Chum Hour and Chum Hout left for Thailand in the wake of the July 10 murder of political analyst Kem Ley, who the twins met shortly before his death.

Speaking yesterday, Hout said the pair had received refugee status from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on July 27 and, represented by two lawyers, had applied for asylum in the US and hoped to “leave soon”.

Hout said they had received advice to leave the country from a “big organisation” in the wake of Ley’s shooting, which many believe was politically motivated.

“We are comfortable and happy that IKARE and people in the USA have worked very hard to help,” Hout said of the organisation which is paying for the twin’s shelter and legal representation.

Reached by phone yesterday Kosel Sek, executive director of Minnesota-based IKARE, which works with genocide survivors and helps Cambodian students visit the US, said there was no fixed timeline for the asylum claim.

“The attorney has expressed his optimism that it will be days not weeks or months but it’s a process we’re not in control of,” Sek said, adding his group felt compelled to help the brothers reach safety and “tell their story”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a