UN Envoy Urged to Probe Arrest of Monks

The U.N.’s human rights envoy to Cambodia, Surya Subedi, who began his 10th fact-finding mission to Cambodia on Sunday, has been asked to investigate issues faced by ethnic Khmer Krom people after five monks were arrested for participating in garment worker protests earlier this month. In a letter to Mr. Subedi dated Friday, the Minority Rights Organization (MIRO) said it was “appalled” by the violent suppression of the protests in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district, during which police shot dead five people, and called on the special rapporteur to “investigate the critical situation of Khmer Krom monks” during his visit. … MIRO said that on January 2, five Khmer Krom monks from Stung Meanchey commune’s Wat Samaki Rangsei pagoda were arrested after they joined a garment worker protest and were “indiscriminately beaten on the head, back and in the belly with batons.” … Military police also allegedly forced them to be photographed holding drugs and condoms after the monks refused to defrock, then made them thumbprint declarations saying that they would not join any more protests, the letter says. …

Lauren Crothers