Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer Krom targetted, says NGO

Khmer Krom targetted, says NGO

Monks flee from Freedom Park while being chased by security forces
Monks flee from Freedom Park while being chased by security forces on Saturday. POST STAFF

Khmer Krom targetted, says NGO

The leader of an organisation of monks from Kampuchea Krom, the part of southern Vietnam that once belonged to the Khmer Empire, accused security officials at the recent crackdowns at Freedom Park and last Thursday’s garment protest of singling out Kampuchea Krom monks for arrest and torture.

The Venerable Sieng Sovanara, 33, acting executive director of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Monks Association, said the Khmer Krom monks had attended the protests along with Cambodian monks and garment workers, but had been specifically targetted for detention and torture and were framed for breaking Buddhist codes.

“Our monks did not use violence, but why were they arrested for torture. Why not arrest the ones that acted violently?” Sovana told journalists at a press conference yesterday.

According to Sovana, the monks had been framed for breaking Buddhist rules regarding chastity by police officials, who produced a bag of condoms and purported sex-enhancing drugs, and accused the monks of bringing them. “But in fact, we did not have it. They were framed,” he said. “They treated us like animals and it is not acceptable. Such an unreal accusation will be unforgettable for our entire lives.”

Son Chum Chuon, the program manager of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom for Human Rights and Development Association, said at the conference that six Khmer Krom monks were badly beaten by members of the military even after they had been detained.

The Khmer Krom groups said yesterday that they had also submitted a three-page statement to the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia seeking intervention.

“The monks were tortured by the soldiers by hitting them with wooden sticks and electric batons, kicking them and forcibly defrocking them and detaining them for more than 13 hours,” the statement read.

Officials at the Ministry of National Defence could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy

  • Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. The

  • Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

    The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9. The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue

  • Phnom Penh International Airport wins award as passenger traffic soars

    The Phnom Penh International Airport has been awarded Best Asia Pacific Regional Airport 2019 for its sustained high growth in passenger traffic in recent years. The award was presented by the Capa Centre for Aviation (Capa) – a world-leading and trusted organisation that provides market intelligence to

  • Tour guides question animal release ban in Angkor moat

    The Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association (Katga) called on the Apsara National Authority to reconsider its decision banning all animals from being released into the moat surrounding the Angkor Wat temple after the authority prohibited the action for the sake of visitors’ safety. An Apsara

  • Rainsy blocked from boarding flight to Jakarta

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The "acting president" of the Cambodia National Rescue Party's announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy arrived in Kuala