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Missing Monk Detained in Vietnam, Embassy Official Confirms

A defrocked monk who has been missing for a month is being detained in Vietnam, an embassy official said Thursday.

Tim Sakhorn, a monk who was defrocked for allegedly stirring unrest between Cambodia and Vietnam and whom rights workers feared abducted, was arrested for trying to enter Vietnam without proper papers, said Trinh Ba Cam, first secretary of the Vietnamese Embassy.

Tim Sakhorn's defrocking and reported forcible abduction roused the Khmer Kampuchea Krom community he belonged to and worried other Khmer Krom monks in Vietnam.

Khmer Krom ethnic group advocacy groups claim members are denied their rights in Vietnam and are increasingly marginalized in Cambodia. Their plight is a politically volatile issue that rankles students and others and has led to violent protests in recent months.

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights appealed to the Vietnamese government to release Tim Sakhorn and return him to Cambodia.