Finland Grants Visa to Cambodian Ex-police Chief

Cambodia’s reactions came promptly after Finland announced its decision to grant a visa to Heng Peo. According to Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA), Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Hor Namhong has sent a letter to his Finnish colleguea Erkki Tuomioja in which he accuses Finland of harbouring criminals.
     “It is with great consternation that we learn that your government has decided to issue a visa to Heng Peo, a convicted criminal,” DPA quoted the letter as saying.

In the angry letter, the Cambodian foreign minister claimed that this was the second time Finland had offered shelter to a convicted Cambodian criminal, referring to Sok Yoeun, who is a Cambodian opposition party member charged with taking part in an attempt on Prime Minister Hun Sen’s life in 1998.
     “There are currently many criminals serving jail terms in Cambodian prisons. We would be happy to send them all to Finland,” Hor Namhong sarcasticly wrote.

Heng Peo, 49, has been detained for immigration offences in Malaysia since October. He claims that he will be tortured and executed if deported to Cambodia. Finland´s decision to grant the visa came after repeated appeals by non-governmental organisations, members of the European Parliament, and Cambodian refugees.

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