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September 1994, Volume 1, Number 8

Cambodian Immigration Law Under Consideration

A law which would provide for the deportation and expulsion of aliens is currently being considered by the National Assembly in Phnom Penh. The law allows the Interior Ministry to confiscate the papers of resident aliens, making it possible to expel them without the right to a hearing by a court.

Human rights organizations worry that should the law pass, it could lead to a repeat of human rights violations that occurred under the Lon Nol and Pol Pot governments. The human rights organization, Asia Watch, said that the ethnic Vietnamese residents of Cambodia are the targets of the law, which does not include a definition of nationality. Asia Watch reports that the Interior Ministry has already taken some steps, including ordering reports on non-Khmer inhabitants and confiscating Cambodian identity documents from non-Khmer speaking people trying to enter the country, which they think indicates plans to expel the ethnic Vietnamese. There are claims by the Khmer that as many as four million Vietnamese are living in Cambodia.

"Rights Group Raps Khmer Draft Bill," Bangkok Post, August 17, 1994. "Cambodian immigration law under fire, "UPI, August 16, 1994. "Immigration Law Worries Human Rights Advocates," International Intelligence Report, August 4, 1994.