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Rights Groups Fear ‘Blacklist’ for Anti-Vietnam Protesters

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Cambodian protesters burn mock Vietnamese flags during a protest at a blocked main street in Cambodian protesters burn mock Vietnamese flags during a protest at a blocked main street in front of Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. The protesters on Wednesday demanded the Vietnamese government to apologize for comments four months ago they made stating the territory of southern Vietnam (Mekong Delta) was owned by Vietnam long ago. The southern Vietnam was part of Cambodia and handed over to Vietnam by France in June 4, 1949 during the France colonial era. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Cambodian protesters burn mock Vietnamese flags during a protest at a blocked main street in Cambodian protesters burn mock Vietnamese flags during a protest at a blocked main street in front of Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. The protesters on Wednesday demanded the Vietnamese government to apologize for comments four months ago they made stating the territory of southern Vietnam (Mekong Delta) was owned by Vietnam long ago. The southern Vietnam was part of Cambodia and handed over to Vietnam by France in June 4, 1949 during the France colonial era. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Local rights workers say they fear ongoing protests by the Khmer Krom minority in front of the Vietnamese Embassy could be putting demonstrators at risk of a blacklisting.

Am Sam Ath, lead investigator at the rights group Licadho, told VOA Khmer the Cambodian authorities appear to be searching for Khmer Krom monks, who belong to a minority of Khmer who say they face oppression in southern Vietnam.

“The Khmer Krom monks who have joined demonstrations so far in front of the Vietnam Embassy were blacklisted for arrest,” he said.

Police officials deny the allegations.

At least three monks have been arrested and charged with disturbing public order. One was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $500.

Others are in hiding, like Yin Dara, 32, who told VOA Khmer by phone he was concerned about his safety and that he fears he will be arrested “for no reason.”

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