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Travesty of Justice: Local Khmer-Krom Wrongly Imprisoned

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Saigon (Prey Nokor) City, Mekong Delta
February 14, 2011

A local Khmer-Krom, named Mr. Lam Huol has been wrongly jailed at the “Ba` Lai” prison in Saigon City (renamed Ho Chi Minh City), due to the corruption scheme inside the police force.

Mr. Lam Huol was born in Gia Rai district, Bac Lieu province, the Mekong Delta (south Vietnam). He has moved to Saigon City to find work.

On November 12, 2009, there was a major accident involving a transport truck with license plate # 62L-7544 crashed into Mr. Lam Huol, the driver of the motorbike with license # 51H-0810. Mr. Nguyen Huu Phuoc , the driver of the transport truck knew that he was at fault hence he tried to flee the scene of the accident. While Mr. Lam Huol’s right hand was broken and lying on the side of the road, Mr. Nguyen Huu Phuoc turned around and colluded with the Vietnamese police officers to press charges against Mr. Lam Huol for the cause of the accident. The police officers of the Saigon City immediately charged Mr. Lam Huol and arrested him on the spot.

Not only Mr. Lam Huol has not received any medical treatment and/or any compensation, but he has continued to face jail term at the “Ba` Lai” prison since November 12, 2009, at the false of others.

The involved corrupt officers are from the police force stationed at the district 6 of the Saigon City. In October 2010, the involved police officers also colluded with the City court of district 6 who then charged Mr. Lam Huol for 3 years of imprisonment on the case. The verdict was clearly a denial of justice for Mr. Lam Huol and his family, while the perpetrator Mr. Nguyen Huu Phuoc continues to live above the law.

Based on some local independent news sources indicated that Mr. Lam Huol was robbed of justice because the involved police officers and the judge of the District 6, HCM City, were taking bribed money from the perpetrator Nguyen Huu Phuoc.

Currently Mr. Lam Huol is still being imprisoned at the “Ba` Lai” prison with a deteriorating health condition due to the infection of the un-treated broken right hand. Mrs. Kim Thi Hien, Mr. Lam Huol’s mother, also claimed that she has to constantly pay bribed money to the police officers in order to visit her son and taking him for occasional treatments at the “Dai Hoc Y Hoc Duoc” (Medical University Hospital). She was also demanded for 10 million dongs of bribe by the district 6 police so that Mr. Lam Huol can be released permanently, but she told them she did not have that amount of money and she knew her son is innocent.

Now, the mother of Mr. Lam Huol has appealed for outside help in order to bring justice to his dying son in prison. Mr. Lam Huol and his family are clearly the victims of the corruption scheme committed by the police and judicial system in the Saigon City. Living under the oppression of the Vietnamese government, when the Khmer Krom victims face the injustice imprisonment, they usually have nowhere to go asking for help to seek for their justice.

Reference Sources:
RFA Vietnamese : http://www.rfa.org/vietnamese/in_depth/one-khmer-krom-convicted-3-years-...
VOKK : http://vokk.net/?p=4470