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Four Montagnard Asylum Seekers Now in Safehouse in Capital

Montagnards emerge from the forest after having fled from neighbouring Vietnam in Korng village, Ratanakiri province, northeastern Cambodia, 10 kilometers (6.3 miles) from the Vietnamese border, file photo.

At least four Montagnards who had been hiding in the jungles of Ratanakkiri province, on the Vietnam border, have made their way to Phnom Penh.

A local rights worker told VOA Khmer in an interview that the four asylum seekers were under the care of an undisclosed NGO.

Rights groups worry that Cambodian authorities in the province are rounding up potential asylum seekers and sending them back to Vietnam, without due process under international conventions, a charge police have denied.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng told reporters on Tuesday that 13 other Montagnards are currently being interviewed by authorities in Phnom Penh, to determine whether they have legitimate asylum bids. If not, he said, they will be deported.