Open Letter to Mr Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia

Press release


According to sources in Cambodia, on Thursday July 25th an unidentified man called at the guest house in Phnom Penh where Thich Tri Luc was
staying, and invited the monk to go with him. Thich Tri Luc has not been heard of since. The UNHCR Office in Phnom Penh has been unable to obtain
information on his current where abouts.

Concerned by reports that Vietnamese secret police regularly enter Cambodia to arrest, forcibly repatriate and even murder refugees from the ethnic
Montagnard minority fleeing persecution in Vietnam, the FIDH is extremely concerned for the safety of Venerable Thich Tri Luc. The FIDH fears he may
have been kidnapped, repatriated, or suffered an even worse fate.

Thich Tri Luc, secular name Pham Van Tuong, born in 1954, is a an active member of the UBCV movement for religious freedom, democracy and
human rights. He was first arrested in 1992 and detained for 10 months without trial. Security Police tried to force him to become an informer for the
Communist Party, but he refused. On November 5th 1994, Thich Tri Luc was again arrested for participating in a UBCV mission to rescue flood victims
and sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison after an unfair trial in Ho Chi Minh City. He was charged with "abusing democratic freedoms to harm the
interests of the State". Since his release, Thich Tri Luc has been under continuous surveillance and routinely harassed by Security Police on account of
his membership in the banned UBCV.

The FIDH urges the Cambodian authorities to order a search to find Venerable Thich Tri Luc and to protect his safety and security.

We hope that you will take these requests into consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Sidiki Kaba

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