Dec 17, 2009

Hmong:Refugees Facing Human Rights Violations

Sample ImageRaised concern about the plight of hundreds of Lao Hmong political refugees from Ban Huay Nam and other asylum seekers forcibly repatriated from Thailand to Laos

Below is an article published by Media Newswire:
Thailand, December 15, 2009 - In recent months, hundreds of Lao Hmong political refugees and asylum seekers forcibly repatriated from Thailand to Laos from 2007-2009 have been summarily executed, imprisoned, tortured, or have disappeared at the hands of Lao military and security forces, according to sources in Laos as well as non-governmental and human rights organizations ( NGOs ) familiar with the situation facing returnees.  The Lao Hmong Human Rights Council ( LHHRC ) and the Center for Public Policy Analysis ( CPPA ) as well as other NGOs and non-profit organizations have raised concerns about the plight of thousands of Lao Hmong political refugees from Ban Huay Nam Khao who have suffered violent forced repatriation to Laos where they have been killed or have suffered persecution and human rights violations.  Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders ( MSF ) and others have expressed repeated concerns about human rights violations and persecution directed against Lao Hmong refugees forced by Thailand back to the communist regime in Laos they fled.

“According to reliable sources in Laos, as well as our own research, hundreds more Lao Hmong political refugees, who have fled religious and political persecution in Laos as well as Lao military attacks, have been forced from the Huay Nam Khao camp in Thailand back to Laos, where they have been imprisoned, tortured, killed or simply disappear in recent months and years at the hands of Lao military and security forces,” said Philip Smith, Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C.

"Thailand’s Defense Prawit Wongsuwon and Minister of Interior (  MOI  ) Chavarat Charnvirakuland and Army Chief Anupong Paochinda have ordered additional Royal Thai Third Army and special MOI troops to prepare for the mass forced repatriation of over 5,100 Lao Hmong political refugees and asylum seekers at Huay Nam Khao and Nong Khai at the apparent orders of Prime Minister Abhisit according to sources in Thailand," Smith explained.

Vaughn Vang, Executive Director of the Lao Hmong Human Rights Council ( LHHRC ) in Green Bay, Wisconsin said:  “We have also been receiving more reports from sources in Laos and their family members in the United States about the many Lao Hmong refugees from Huay Nam Khao refugee camp who have disappeared, or have been tortured or killed in Laos, including Zoua Zang, along with five young children, who disappeared after they were forced from Thailand to Laos recently.”

Mr. Vang continued:  “Some of the Lao Hmong returnees from Ban Huay Nam Khao arrested by the Lao military upon their forced return to Laos include Mr.  Chia  Yang , who is 60 years old,  and was arrested on June 22,2009;  Others Lao Hmong refugee returnees arrested include Nhia Khang Vue,  45,  Neng Zoo Xiong    24,  Xai Thao, 25, , who were all arrested in the  Km 20 area of Laos.”

“Lao police in LPDR killed Chai Fwj Yang and Neng Lor on October 28, 2009, the Lao military and security forces killed Neng Lor, 16 in Bolikhamsai as well as Niam Lor See, 28 in Vientiane Province; Koua Lee, 28, was also  killed on November 1, 2009 in the Vientiane Province; Ntxhai Xiong, 34, was killed on November 12, 2009 by Lao military and security forces,” Vang explained. 

“These are just some examples of the hundreds of Lao Hmong refugees arrested, jailed or killed in Laos who were forcibly repatriated from Ban Huay Nam Khao in Petchabun Province, Thailand back to the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic ( LPDR ),” Vang said.

Human Rights Watch, and others, have raised repeated concerns about Lao Hmong refugees and asylum seekers from Thailand’s Huay Nam Khao who have been forcibly repatriated back to Laos where many have suffered political and religious persecution or have disappeared or been killed.

Amnesty International has issued a recent report regarding peaceful Laotian protesters arrested in November 2, 2009,  in Laos who have disappeared in Sam Khe prison and the Lao gulag system after being imprisoned by the LPDR.

Former political prisoner and author Kay Danes, and the Foreign Prisoners Support Service ( FPSS ), have documented torture, human rights violations and the deplorable situation in Lao prisons where Lao Hmong refugees, prisoners of conscience, political and religious dissidents as well as foreign prisoners are often held without charge and due process.  Danes illuminates the dark plight of Lao prisons in two of her books “Standing Ground” ( New Holland Publishers, 2009 )  and “Nightmare in Laos.”

On November 26, the European Parliament  passed a resolution on the plight of Laotian political and religious prisoners and urging the emancipation of Lao Hmong refugees in Thailand.