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cambodia

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60 Vietnamese nationals collectively run for freedom from human traffickers in Cambodia

  • A group of 60 Vietnamese nationals collectively ran for freedom from a Cambodian casino where they were being exploited and held as prisoners on Saturday.
  • Four people failed to escape as they were recaptured by casino guards.
  • Cambodian authorities managed to rescue them along with 15 other victims.
  • On Wednesday, 71 Vietnamese victims were transported back to Vietnam.
  • This incident marks the second mass escape of Vietnamese nationals from a casino in Cambodia within the course of a month.

In the latest incident of the human trafficking crisis in Cambodia, 60 Vietnamese nationals collectively ran for freedom from a Cambodian casino where they were being exploited and held as prisoners. 

On Saturday, a group of 60 Vietnamese people fled from a casino under heavy rain in Bavet city in Cambodia’s Svay Rieng province. Four people reportedly failed to escape as they were recaptured by casino guards.

Vietnamese consulate receives ‘constant calls day and night’ by victims of human trafficking in Cambodia

human trafficking
  • The Vietnamese consulate in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, has been receiving dozens of rescue requests from victims of human trafficking on a daily basis.
  • Crime syndicates operating in Cambodia have targeted individuals from Southeast Asian countries. Thousands of people are lured by traffickers who promised them “easy jobs with high wages,” when in reality, they are exploited and held as prisoners.
  • Consul General Vu Ngoc Ly said one major issue that rescuers face is incomprehensive information given by the Vietnamese victims.
  • Several trafficking groups operate in deep forests under the guise of being legitimate companies.
  • Ly said it is important to educate people about the dangers behind “easy jobs with high pay” in foreign countries.

The Vietnamese consulate in Cambodia has been receiving dozens of rescue requests from victims of human trafficking as rescue efforts face several challenges.

Amid the ongoing human trafficking crisis in Cambodia, the Vietnamese consulate in Sihanoukville has been receiving numerous calls from victims on a daily basis. 

118 Malaysians, 50 Filipinos rescued from human traffickers in Cambodia

  • Human trafficking operations in Cambodia have been targeting individuals from various South East Asian countries by promising them jobs with “high wages,” when in reality, they are exploited and held as prisoners.
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia Saifuddin Abdullah said that 118 citizens have been rescued from human traffickers while 30 remain missing in Cambodia.
  • There were 24 Malaysians sent home on Friday while 29 others await the completion of investigations and paperwork processing at immigration centers.
  • On Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in the Philippines reported that 50 Filipinos, who were recruited to work illegally in Cambodia, were also rescued and returned home.
  • Vitit Muntarbhorn, the U.N. special rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia, said Cambodia must implement stronger countermeasures as well as receive better international cooperation.

According to the latest human trafficking rescue operation reports, authorities have rescued more than 100 Malaysians and 50 Filipinos who were lured to Cambodia and held as prisoners.

Out of 148 Malaysians reported missing, 118 have been rescued from human traffickers while 30 remain missing. According to Malaysia’s foreign minister, 24 citizens were sent back home on Friday and 29 others remain at immigration centers in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville in Cambodia.

Vietnamese parents forced to buy back children as human trafficking crisis in Cambodia escalates

  • Chinese crime syndicates are believed to be behind the human trafficking operations in Cambodia that have targeted individuals from Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • Thousands of people have been lured by human traffickers who promised them “easy jobs with high wages,” when in fact, they were taken to production facilities and casinos and held as prisoners.
  • In April, four families in Hai Phong City had to pay thousands of dollars in ransom to buy back their children after they were tricked by a close friend. 
  • On Aug. 18, 40 Vietnamese nationals managed to escape from the Golden Phoenix casino in Cambodia’s Kandal province by swimming across the Binh Di River. 
  • So far, Vietnamese and Cambodian authorities have rescued over 250 people who were lured to Cambodian casinos.

In the first half of this year, Vietnamese and Cambodian authorities have rescued 250 people who were lured to Cambodian casinos by human traffickers. In a joint operation, authorities are continuing to bring home Vietnamese nationals.

Chinese crime syndicates are believed to be behind the human trafficking operations in Cambodia that have targeted individuals from South East Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Cambodian refugee who came to US as 1-year-old is deported after no pardon from California Gov. Newsom

  • On Tuesday, Phoeun You, a former child refugee from Cambodia, was deported to a country he is barely familiar with after failing to get a pardon from California Governor Gavin Newsom.
  • You, who joined a gang in his teens, shot and killed a 17-year-old at age 20 while retaliating against a gang attack on a young member of his family.
  • The 48-year-old reformed inmate had been deemed safe for early release by the San Quentin Prison parole board after serving a 25-year prison sentence.
  • While in prison, You became a founding member of the restorative justice program Restoring Our Original True Selves, served as a counselor with Bay Area Women Against Rape, and mentored other detained refugees from Asia.
  • The Asian Prisoner Support Committee and other advocates have been urging Newsom to grant You a pardon and stop the deportation.
  • You's eldest brother, James Bunyou, lamented how Newsom “chose not to" intervene on You’s behalf.

A 48-year-old reformed inmate who served 25 years in prison was deported by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to Cambodia on Tuesday.

Phoeun You, a former child refugee from Cambodia, was sent back to a country he is barely familiar with after failing to get a pardon from California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Philippines is most stressed, Cambodia is saddest in Southeast Asia, says new Gallup survey

  • The global analytics and advice firm Gallup found the Philippines to be the most stressed, Laos to be the angriest and Cambodia to be the saddest countries in Southeast Asia.
  • In a survey conducted from 2021 to early 2022, the global analytic firm recorded “yes,” “no” and “don’t know or refused to answer” responses from respondents aged 15 and older.
  • Respondents were asked about the emotions they felt, including stress level, anger and sadness, the day before the survey was conducted.
  • Gallup compiled the results of each country to create a Positive Experience Index (PEI) and a Negative Experience Index (NEI).
  • The PEI scores relate to respondents’ “perceptions about living standards, personal freedoms and presence of social networks,” while the NEI results are connected to people’s experiences of health problems and their ability to afford food, according to Gallup.

New surveys reveal the Philippines to be the most stressed country in Southeast Asia.

Global analytics and advice firm Gallup measured the emotional states of people in more than 100 countries through extensive surveys. In one survey conducted from 2021 to early 2022, the global analytic firm recorded “yes,” “no” and “don’t know or refused to answer” responses from respondents aged 15 and older.

Gov. Newsom urged to pardon former Cambodian refugee at risk of being deported after prison sentence

  • Phoeun You, whose family fled the Cambodian genocide, is now at risk of being deported back to the country after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained him immediately after he was released from prison in January.
  • You had been deemed safe for early release by the San Quentin Prison parole board after serving a 25-year prison sentence.
  • You, who joined a gang in his teens, shot and killed a 17-year-old at age 20 while retaliating against a gang attack on a young member of his family.
  • While in prison, You earned his associate of arts degree from Patten University and went on to become a journalist for the San Quentin News as well as a counselor and mentor to other inmates.
  • He also helped found the self-help program ROOTS (Restoring Our Original True Selves) with his peers.
  • The Asian Prisoner Support Committee and other advocates have since urged California Gov. Gavin Newsom to grant him a pardon and effectively stop his impending deportation.

A former child refugee from Cambodia who served 25 years in prison is now at risk of being deported back to a country he is barely familiar with.

Despite being deemed safe for early release by the San Quentin Prison parole board, 47-year-old Phoeun You was handed over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in January after being pardoned. 

American activist Theary Seng, dozens of other Hun Sen critics jailed for treason in Cambodia

Cambodian lawyer
  • On Tuesday, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Cambodia sentenced 60 opposition figures, including prominent lawyer Theary Seng, for conspiring to commit treason.
  • Seng was sentenced to six years in prison, while the others affiliated with the dissolved group Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) received sentences ranging from five to eight years.
  • They were charged with treason and incitement for efforts by the group to return their leader, Sam Rainsy, from exile in 2019. He was also sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison.
  • The mass trial, which the U.S. accused of being politically motivated, is seen as a means to curb opposition against the rule of Hun Sen, Cambodia’s incumbent prime minister since 1985.

Cambodian American lawyer and human rights activist Theary Seng was among the 60 opposition figures convicted for conspiring to commit treason by a local court in Cambodia.

Seng and her co-defendants, who were affiliated with the dissolved group Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), were sentenced to between five to eight years in prison on Tuesday. 

Video: Elephant once dubbed the ‘world’s loneliest’ has summer fun at Cambodian wildlife sanctuary

  • Kaavan, once dubbed the “world’s loneliest elephant,” is bringing joy to the internet with a video of him enjoying his stay at Kulen Prum Tep Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia.
  • The 37-year-old rescue elephant, who languished for over 30 years while in captivity at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, was transferred to his new home in 2020.
  • Sri Lanka gave Kaavan as a gift to Pakistan in 1985 when he was only a year old. He suffered from mental health issues there after Saheli, his partner of 22 years, died in 2012.
  • In 2016, Four Paws, philanthropist Eric Margolis and Free The Wild led a global campaign to relocate Kaavan.
  • In the Instagram clip shared by Save the Elephant Foundation, Kaavan can be seen relaxing and cooling himself off in the water.

A wholesome video of an animal dubbed the “world’s loneliest elephant” is bringing joy to the internet.

In the Instagram clip shared by Save Elephant Foundation on Thursday, 37-year-old rescue elephant Kaavan can be seen enjoying his stay at the 25,000-acre Kulen Prum Tep Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia.

Cambodia urges people to stop picking its ‘penis plants’

cambodian penisn flowers
  • The Cambodian government issued a warning on Wednesday asking people to stop picking “penis plants” due to the risk of extinction.
  • After a video of three women picking the plants on Bokor Mountain in Kampot Province went viral, the Ministry of Environment released images of the women while stating that “what they are doing is wrong.”
  • The women are seen making jokes in the video, with one woman at one point holding a small Nepenthes holdenii while referencing small penises.
  • The endangered Nepenthes holdenii, also known as the “penis plant” for its resemblance to a human phallus, is a carnivorous tropical pitcher plant commonly found in western Cambodian mountains.

After a video of a group of women holding “penis plants” went viral, the Cambodian government urged people to stop picking them, as they may go extinct.

The Ministry of Environment released a statement on Wednesday warning people against picking the plants, along with photos of the women from the video. 

Thai woman saved from gang of organ harvesters after being lured by job in Cambodia, police say

Thai women organ harvest
  • A 25-year-old Thai woman was saved just moments before a gang of organ harvesters could operate on her. She was reportedly among eight Thai nationals who were rescued by Cambodian authorities on Wednesday.
  • The woman told Police Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn that she was lured with a job for a Chinese-operated call center in Cambodia that later turned out to be a scam operation targeting Thai people.
  • She was reportedly detained without food and tortured with electric shocks. The gang also allegedly forced her to call someone to request a ransom for her freedom.
  • The woman eventually escaped her captors and attempted to flee the city to Poi Pet on the border with Thailand by hiring a driver. The driver reportedly told the woman he had to stop to pick up another man and later suggested resting at a hotel.
  • The woman said the last moment she could remember after that was waking up in a room surrounded by what she described as surgical equipment.
  • Authorities eventually managed to find her location by tracking her phone and with the help of a witness account.

A Thai woman lured with a job for a Chinese-operated call center in Cambodia was saved from a gang of organ harvesters just moments before they could illegally operate on her, police said.

The 25-year-old woman, whose name has been withheld for her safety, recalled her ordeal at the Thai-Cambodian border town of Sa Kaeo in eastern Thailand while speaking to Police Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn on Wednesday evening.

Chinese man lured by fake job ad is held captive as ‘blood slave’ for months in Cambodia

Bloodslave
  • A former security guard in China was reportedly kidnapped by a gang after being lured to Cambodia with a fake advertisement.
  • The man, identified by his surname Li, was then sold to another gang for $18,500.
  • In August 2021, he was used as a “blood slave” after refusing to participate in the gang's fraudulent activities. Since then, 27 ounces of blood was drawn from him each month.
  • While there were at least seven other captives, the gang mostly took blood from him because of his universal blood type, O negative.
  • He was able to escape with the help of a gang member and is now receiving treatment at a hospital.

A Chinese man was nearly drained of all his blood by the time he escaped his captors in Sihanoukville city, Cambodia.

The man, identified only by his surname Li, was kidnapped by a gang and used as a “blood slave” for months, reported South China Morning Post