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The Khmer-Krom Prisoners of Conscience

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The peaceful revolution overthrowing the dictatorship regimes in Tunisia and Egypt were successfully organized mostly by the youths. The Tunisian and Egyptian youths effectively used the Internet and Mobile phones to spark the revolution. Now the revolution to demand for democracy spreads to other countries. When does it come to Asia, especially in Vietnam?

Since 1975, Vietnam has been ruling by a Vietnamese Communist Party. The people in Vietnam, especially the Khmer-Krom, have no voice to demand for their rights. When people stand up for their rights, they are labeled as the “Separatists” and sent to prison. The Khmer-Krom have no rights to defend for themselves in front of the Vietnamese legal system.

There are three well-known Khmer-Krom land right activists who are currently imprisoned by the Vietnamese government:

  • Mr. Huynh Ba used to lead the Khmer-Krom farmers to demand returning their confiscated farmlands in Khleang (Soc Trang) province. He has been arrested and imprisoned since 2009.
  • Mrs. Tran Thi Chau has been arrested and imprisoned since April 2010 because of the land-grab dispute with the Vietnamese Authorities in Preah Trapeang (Tra Vinh) province.
  • Mr. Chau Hen used to organize peaceful demonstration to demand returning the confiscated farmlands in Sway Ton (Tri Ton) district, Moth Chrouk (An Giang) province in 2007 and 2008. He escaped to seek refugee status in Thailand in UNHCR but the UNHCR asked him to go back to his hometown because the UNHCR staffs believed that the Vietnamese government would not arrest him. Unfortunately, when he arrived at his home on December 17, 2010, he has been arrested since then.

If the Vietnamese government keeps using its oppression policies to oppress the Khmer-Krom and push the Khmer-Krom to live in poverty and no future, then the Khmer-Krom farmers would not wait to die. They are also humans. They would stand up to demand for their rights.

The Khmer-Krom Youths and the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monk students in Kampuchea-Krom have been using Internet and Mobile phone to network with each other. It is time to help raising the issues of the unfortunate and voiceless Khmer-Krom farmers to the world. If the youths in Tunisia and Egypt can use Internet and Mobile phone to bring down the dictatorship in their countries, then the Khmer-Krom Youths and the Khmer-Krom Buddhist monk students in Kampuchea-Krom, at least, could use Internet and Mobile phone to ask the world for help to urging Vietnam to release the Khmer-Krom Prisoners of Conscience without any condition.

Please help sparking the light of hope to save Khmer-Krom in Kampuchea-Krom.