Phnom Penh (FN), May 12 – Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen urged Cambodian citizens living in the United States to ask the American government to protect them from threat of removing US citizenship and deporting them.

The premier spoke during a meeting with Cambodians living in the United States and Canada on Thursday (May 12).

According to the premier, there have been threats in the past to withdraw American citizenship from Cambodians living in the US who support the Cambodian government, led by the Cambodian People's Party.

In addition, the US government did not address the above threat, but continued to accuse the Cambodian government, led by CPP, of persecuting other parties. Therefore, Samdech urged Cambodians in the US to stand up by telling their representatives to protect them.

“In the past, I never expect that they [the ill-intended opposition party] threat our Cambodian people in the land of the Father of Democracy. They [the opposition party] announced to withdraw American citizenship from Khmer-Americans who support the legitimate Royal Government of Cambodia. Is this a threat to our citizens living in the US? I urged the US government to protect our Cambodian citizens. Dear people here, it is time to stand up to protect our freedom. I [Hun Sen] am obligated to protect our people abroad,” the premier underlined.

Hun Sen also reminded that Cambodia and the US had an agreement made since President Clinton’s administration stating that any Cambodian who commits a crime in the US will be deported to his home country after serving prison.

"You [Cambodian citizens] need to understand that I want to protect you, but this is American law. Now you need to stand up, defend yourself. Do not be afraid and keep silent [...] you can publicly declare that you support the government and the CPP. I must say that my citizens in the US are threatened. If the US couldn't address the threat of removing citizenship, then stop calling yourself [father of democracy],” the premier continued.

The premier claimed that it's time for our people to stand up to protect our people's freedom. In addition, the fact that the premier demands the US not to deport convicted Cambodian people is to protect the interests of Cambodian people in the US.