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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Vietnamese Christians fleeing persecution

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 Vietnamese Christians fleeing persecution

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BANLUNG, Cambodia, July 21 (Reuters) - Dishevelled, starving and scared, 79 more Montagnard asylum-seekers emerged from the Cambodian jungle late on Tuesday, fleeing what they said was death at the hands of Vietnamese troops and police.

"If I get sent back, I think they will kill me," said 30-year-old, father of three Ralanpee in the tiny provincial capital of northeast Cambodia's Ratanakiri province.

"I would be happy to die right here, rather than go back to Vietnam and die there."

Ralanpee and his family -- on the run since June 28 -- are the latest in a growing number of the ethnic minority hilltribe people to come out of hiding after fleeing ancestral homes in the coffee-growing Central Highlands of neighbouring Vietnam.

Since Friday, more than 120 Montagnards, who practice an unorthodox form of Protestant Christianity, have appeared from jungle where, in the days of the Vietnam War, communist troops trod the secret pathways of the Ho Chi Minh trail.


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 2004/7/22 0:07Profile





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