Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, February 15, 2007

U.S. government contradicts rights organizations over alleged persecution in Central Highlands

Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey recently visited the Central Highlands of Viet Nam and met with several Montagnards, BBC News reported last week. Sauerbrey met, without government presence, with seven Central Highlanders who had been forced to return to Viet Nam after fleeing to Cambodia. Based on what she saw, Sauerbrey concluded that the Vietnamese government is not violating the rights of the Central Highlanders who are being repatriated. This pronouncement stands in opposition to the reports of many respected human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Sauerbrey guessed that the Montagnards’ reasons for attempting to resettle in Cambodia were motivated by financial need, rather than by political or religious persecution.

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