Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Asylum seekers sent back to VN




Asylum seekers sent back to VN

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Police vehicles sit outside a house where Montagnard asylum seekers are housed in Phnom Penh. Post staff

Asylum seekers sent back to VN

Twenty-five Montagnard asylum seekers were returned to Vietnam yesterday, some two years after fleeing to Cambodia citing persecution, the immigration department confirmed yesterday.

Meanwhile, the government has apparently backtracked on plans to deport a young Ede couple who were arrested by Cambodian immigration police on April 12 on the pretence they planned to flee to Thailand.

Grace Bui, of the Montagnard Assistance Project in Thailand, spoke with the couple last night.

The pair, she said, told her they were released after eight days in detention and had returned to the capital’s Por Sen Chey district, where they and other fellow asylum seekers are housed.

“The police just came and called them down and arrested them without giving them any reason,” Bui said.

“The man was asked, ‘Are you planning to escape?’, and he said, ‘No, my wife is four months pregnant, so we need to go [back to the house]’. Then the officer slammed the table. The officer told him they were planning to run away.”

Bui said the pair, like dozens of others, were still awaiting the outcome of their first interview to determine if they qualified for refugee status. They were given no reason for their sudden release, Bui said.

Kerm Sarin, director of administration at the Ministry of Interior’s refugee department, said the 25 returnees had voluntarily agreed to leave once it became clear their refugee claims would be rejected.

“They left Phnom Penh this morning under the UNHCR arrangement to the O’Yadav border checkpoint,” Sarin said. “Through the process of the government and the UNHCR, they have failed to receive a status as refugees.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Man Covid-19 positive after Thailand trip

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday reported the third Covid-19 case in less than two weeks, bringing the total to 125. The man, a 26-year-old from Tbong Khmum province's Tbong Khmum district, arrived at the O'Beichoan border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province on Thursday. He is

  • Kingdom's GDP growth to narrow -1% to -2.9%, World Bank says

    The World Bank expects further recoil on Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to between minus one per cent and minus 2.9 per cent for 2020 as its main growth drivers – tourism, manufacturing exports and construction – take a beating due to Covid-19, its latest economic update

  • Vietnam: Tougher sentences for child abusers

    Several National Assembly (NA) deputies in Vietnam are calling for tougher penalties to be handed down to child abusers. They hope stricter punishments will act as a strong deterrent to prevent offenders committing further offences in the future. Extreme measures such as chemical castration were

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered