Montagnards Flee Persecution in Vietnam for Unsure Future in Cambodia

Cambodia pd-compressed(Radio Free Asia) — Ethnic Montagnards who have fled Vietnam for Cambodia say they are forced to leave after enduring relentless persecution by authorities in their home country, but regularly face difficulties when they apply for asylum across the border.

About 200 Montagnards have entered Cambodia illegally from Vietnam’s Central Highlands since late last year, claiming they are escaping political and religious discrimination back home, but Cambodian officials said last month that only 13 of them will be granted asylum and the rest deported.

One 40-year-old Montagnard who is currently living in Cambodia told RFA’s Vietnamese Service that he was unable to support his wife and three young children because of regular harassment by authorities in Vietnam, and while it pained him to leave his family on their own, he “had no choice” but to flee.

“If there was no oppression, I would prefer living in Vietnam—I didn’t want to leave my wife, children and my house behind,” he said, adding that he was in a constant state of fear at the time.

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