Press Release on Forced Repatriation and Genocide of Hmong Returnees in Laos by the Lao Human Rights Council - July 24, 1994
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LAO HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
P.O. Box 100960
Denver, Colorado 80250
Fax (303) 733-7254
July 25, 1994
IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE ON FORCED REPATRIATION AND GENOCIDE
OF HMONG RETURNEES IN LAOS
1. There are about 50,000 Hmong refugees in the camps in
Thailand who will be forced by government officials to
return to Laos by the end of 1995.
2. The UNHCR and Thai government announced they would close
down all the refugee camps in Thailand in 1995. The
Napho Camp, Thailand, will be closed by the end of 1994.
3. The policies of voluntary repatriation and screening-out
of the Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA) and the
Tripartite Agreements on Hmong Refugees have continued
to be altered into forced repatriation.
4. Those refugees who refuse to return to unsafe havens in
Laos are arrested and imprisoned in the camps in
5. Since September 8, 1992, government officials have
continued to use food as a political weapon to punish
Hmong refugees in the Napho Camp and to force them to
register for return to Laos. Those refugees who refuse
to comply with the inhumane acts do not receive food and
6. About 35,000 refugees escaped from the camps in Thailand
to displaced areas because of the use of food as a
political tool to punish the refugees and force them to
return to Laos through forced repatriation.
7. Eyewitnesses and victims in Laos confirmed that the
communist Pathet Lao government killed and massacred
approximately 800 - 2,000 Hmong returnees between 1989
8. Since January 1990, the communist Pathet Lao government
has forced more than 60,000 Hmong people to move out of
their homes, territories and farming areas to many
desert areas in order to kill them step-by-step in the
9. Approximately 10,000 - 15,000 Hmong people inside Laos
have been arrested, imprisoned and killed since January
10. There is no freedom of residence and freedom of movement
for the Hmong people inside Laos, or for Hmong returnees
from Thailand to Laos. The communist government and the
UNHCR put the Hmong returnees in Phou Keng and Vien Kham
camps in the Plain of Jars, Xieng Khouang Province, and
camps near Vientiane Province. The returnees have no
right to choose freedom of residence.
11. The refugees in the camps in Thailand confirmed that the
officials of the "Thai government, UNHCR, U.S.
Department of State and communist Pathet Lao government
are the actors and conspirators of the forced
repatriation of Hmong refugees from Thailand to Laos."
12. Since 1975, the communist Pathet Lao and the North
Vietnamese troops have killed more than 300,000 people
in Laos. The Hmong are the largest number of victims.
13. On May 7, 1993, the former Prime Minister of the Royal
Thai Government, MR. KHRUKRIT PRAMOJ, published an
article in the BANGKOK SIAM RAT in the Thai language and
in FBIS-EAS of May 25, 1993, which was signed by
Souphesai Souphanouvong, a son of the President, Prince
Souphanouvong, leader of the communist Pathet Lao
government. The article accurately reported that the
communist Pathet Lao government has "secret plans" for
the liquidation and extermination of the Hmong people,
including the Hmong returnees in Laos.
14. The FBIS-EAS of June 28, 1994, reported that the Thai
"National Security Council (NSC) announced earlier this
year (1994) that it would dose Ban Napho at the end of
this year. Of those remaining (12,000 Hmong refugees),
only about 2,000 have expressed willingness to
repatriate. The rest, mostly Hmong hill tribe people,
have reportedly refused to return, wanting instead to
resettle in a third country."
15. The BANGKOK POST of June 29, 1994, reported that the
Thai National Security Council will use "FORCED
REPATRIATION" to repatriate the Hmong refugees in
Thailand to return to Laos as government authorities and
officials have forced the Vietnamese boat people to
return from Hong Kong to Vietnam.
16. The BANGKOK POST of June 30, 1994, accurately reported
that in "Ban Napho, Nakhon Phanom (Thailand) -- About
300 Hmong made a tearful departure yesterday (June 29,
1994) at the start of a journey back to Laos supported
by the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees
(UNHCR)." This means that the Thai government and the
UNHCR are cooperating to force the Hmong refugees to
return from Thailand to Laos, because the refugees were
making a "tearful departure."
17. Refugee Reports of the U.S. Committee for Refugees in
Washington, D.C., of October 29, 1994, confirmed that
Mr. Vue Mai, a former Chairman of the Ban Vinai Camp,
Thailand, and a returnee, "disappeared" on September 11,
1994. The U.S. Committee for Refugees continued to say
that "Informed sources report that the Laotian security
forces, which had been tracking Vue Mai's movements for
several months, arrested him." Four days after vue Mai
disappeared, on September 15, 1993, Mr. Chong Moua Thao,
a former Vice Chairman of the Chiang Kham Camp,
Thailand, died of food poisoning after he ate a meal
with officials of the communist Pathet Lao government.
18. On May 22, 1994, at 2:00 p.m., the communist Pathet Lao
government arrested, tortured, and imprisoned Mr. Xia
Fong Xiong and Yang Chao Xiong, Hmong returnees in Laos
in Phongsavang, Xieng Khouang Province, Laos. From 1989
till now, in 1994, there have been more than 2,000 cases
like the cases of Vue Mai, Chong Moua Thao, Xia Fong
Xiong and Yang Chao Xiong in Laos.
19. The PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER of February 27, 1994,
accurately reported that Mr. Vang Thai Xiong and 400
non-volunteer refugees in the Napho Camp, Thailand, were
forced to return to Laos on April 27, 1993. Indeed, from
1991 to 1994, more than 4,500 cases like the case of
Vang Thai Xiong of April 27, 1993, have occurred.
20. ON APRIL 26, 1994, an official of the UNHCR in
Washington, D.C., admitted that Mr. Cha Seng Vang (CSE
557) and Chong Neng Vang (CSC 593) were forced to return
from the Nong Saeng Camp, Thailand to Laos on April 9,
1992. This was because the UNHCR concluded the
"investigations" that "They (Cha Seng Vang and Chong
Neng Vang) wanted to go to USA. Not understand screened
out. Thai MOI used physical force to threaten them to
return" to Laos. However, the UNHCR has ignored the
forced repatriation of Hmong refugees from Thailand to
21. Many refugees in Thailand and victims of forced
repatriation complained and reported that some officials
of the UNHCR have repatriated the Lao/Hmong refugees
from Thailand to Laos according to POLITICAL AND
ECONOMIC OBJECTIVES of the Thai government, communist
government in Laos and the U.S. government. If this is
the case, the UNHCR has departed from its Statute and
22. The Lao Human Rights Council and Hmong returnees in Laos
and refugees in Thailand oppose forced repatriation. We
appeal and call upon the United Nations and
international human rights organizations and parties
concerned to condemn the forced repatriation and
persecution and murder of returnees in Laos.
23. Forced repatriation and murders of Hmong refugees and
returnees are international crimes against peace and
crimes against humanity.
24. The United Nations and international community must
bring peace, stability and human rights to Laos as was
done in Cambodia before forcing all Hmong refugees from
Thailand to return to Laos.
Thank you for your interest and concern over the forgotten
tragedies of Hmong people in Laos and refugees in the camps
Press Release by
Dr. Vang Pobzeb
President of the Lao Human Rights Council in the United States
Head of the Delegation to the Conference of the U.N. Working
Group on Indigenous Populations in
on July 25-29, 1994.
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