These people helped us as we fought communism in SE Asia. Now they are being persecuted. Why should we believe the communist about our POW/MIAs?
Danny "Greasy" Belcher, Executive Director
Task Force Omega of KY Inc.
Infantry Sgt. Vietnam 68-69
D Troop 7th Sqdn. 1st Air Cav.
8 September 2005
Background: Hundreds of Montagnard Degar refugees remain in Cambodia after fleeing religious and ethnic persecution in Vietnam .
On 20 July 2005 Cambodian authorities forcibly deported 100 Montagnards back to Vietnam while UNHCR stood by. White House Deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli stated on 20 July 2005, "We have raised U.S. objections to this involuntary repatriation with both the governments of Cambodia and Vietnam . We are disappointed that these individuals were repatriated before an internationally-staffed monitoring program was in place in the Central Highlands of Vietnam and before other solutions could be considered for these individuals."
The Montagnard Foundation has just received urgent information that the UNHCR is going to forcibly deport another 6 Montagnard Degar people who do not want to return to Vietnam . These 6 refugees have fled religious and ethnic persecution in Vietnam and while they desperately want to return to their families in Vietnam , they however, are afraid to do so because of retaliation by Vietnamese authorities as depicted below (in the “Nhan Dan” Vietnamese newspaper article).
Monday, January 28, 2002
Four receive jail terms for organising illegal migrations
These Montagnard refugees are trapped and the UNHCR is now attempting to force them to sign documents stating they willingly want to return to Vietnam .
The names of the Montagnard Degar refugees who face deportation are:
1. Rcom Gliu age 27, from the village of Plei Del, commune of Ia To, district of Ia Grai, province of Gialai
2. Siu Ban age 29, from the village of Plei Mnu, commune of Ia Nang, district of Duc Co, province of Gialai
3. Rahlan Hin age 36, from the village of Plei Can, commune of Ia Po, district of Duc Co, province of Gialai
4. Hyao Ka age 26, from the village of Plei Ke, city of Phu Thien, district of Ayun Pa, province of Gialai
5. Hyao Peng age 47, from the village of Plei Ke, city of Phu Thien, district of Ayun Pa, province of Gialai
6. Siu Su age 30, from the village of Plei Mlan, commune of Ia Ke, district of Ayun Pa, province of Gialai
President of the Montagnard Foundation states:
“These refugees are trapped. They don’t want to leave their families in Vietnam and they also fear being tortured, imprisoned or even killed when they return to Vietnam . It is common knowledge that over 200 Montagnards remain in Vietnamese prisons and over the last few years thousands of our people have been arrested and tortured.”
The Montagnard Foundation received information from Cambodia that these refugees stated they would return to Vietnam if international monitors could guarantee for their safety once they were back in Vietnam .
The Montagnard Foundation calls on:
- All concerned persons and Christian groups to pray and take urgent action to prevent the UNHCR from deporting these 6 Montagnard Degar Christians back to Vietnam .
- The US government, European Union and the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights to urgently push for Vietnam to open the Central Highlands to international monitoring so they can protect these deportees and prevent further human rights abuses in Vietnam's Central Highlands.
- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. António Guterres, urgently review the overall situation of Montagnard refugees in Cambodia and demand the complete co-operation of the Cambodian Government for the respect of the 1951 Refugees Convention, and urge the Government of Vietnam to allow an unfettered and effective presence of its office in the Central highlands of Vietnam, together with other international and foreign agencies and NGOs.
MONTAGNARD FOUNDATION, INC.
Dedicated to the Preservation of the Indigenous People of Vietnam ’s Central Highlands
P.O. BOX 171114 - SPARTANBURG, SC 29301-0101 USA
Fax: (864) 595-1940 Phone: (864) 576-0698
Web site: www.montagnard-foundation.org