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Montagnard asylum seeker cremated after suicide

Montagnard asylum seeker cremated after suicide

The body of a Montagnard asylum seeker, who committed suicide at his UN-provided guesthouse on Wednesday, has been cremated at a pagoda in the capital, according to police.

Kpa Thanh, one of 172 asylum seekers from the Vietnamese central highlands staying in accommodation provided by, and receiving food support from, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, was found in his room in Choam Chao commune, in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district.

The 41-year-old hanged himself, said Choam Chao commune deputy police chief Ngor Serey, who said the man suffered from a chronic illness.

Hundreds of members of the minority group crossed into Cambodia last year from Vietnam, where they face persecution for their Christian beliefs.

Yesterday, Mom Sophanarith, deputy director of the Refugee Department, said about 100 of the 190 Montagnard asylum seekers had been registered and interviewed.

Sophanarith was unable to give a timeline regarding a decision on their asylum applications. “We are interviewing them one by one, but I can not tell the results now,” he said.

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