Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Laos Denies It

Of course the scumbags deny it. The same way they deny their ethnic cleansing against the Hmong and their persecution of the Karens.

Laos denies Hmong-Americans arrested

The Lao government on Wednesday denied reports that authorities had arrested three US citizens of Hmong decent in Vientiane, the capital.

"I've checked with security authorities and they assured me that none of these people are being kept under custody in Laos," said Lao foreign ministry spokesman Yong Chanhthalousy, in a telephone interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

According to press reports from the US, three Hmong-Americans identified as Hakit Yang, 21, Conghineng Yang, 31, and Trillion Yunhaison, 41, were allegedly arrested in Vientiane on August 25 by security personnel.

A US Embassy source in Vientiane confirmed that they had obtained reports of the arrests.

"We have local sources who inform us that the arrests took place on August 25 but we don't have confirmation from the central government," said an embassy spokesperson in Vientiane.

News of the alleged arrests coincided with a Thai-Lao Border Committee meeting in Phitsanulok, Thailand, concerning the fate of some 8,000 Hmong refugees who have been living in Thailand for decades.

Thailand has classified the Hmong living at Huay Nam Khao camp as "illegal migrants," while the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and various human rights groups claim they are refugees who will face persecution if they are repatriated to Laos.

The current Thai government is trying to find an acceptable way to repatriate the Hmong as part of their long-term solution to problem of Lao-Hmong fleeing to Thailand.

Laos is also seeking their repatriation, primarily to prove that the ongoing Hmong resistance struggle is a myth.

"These people are illegal migrants, and you can see how illegal migrants are treated in the West, for instance African migrants in Europe," said Yong of the Hmong in Thailand. "This is a global problem."

The New York based Human Rights Watch last week blasted Thailand's efforts to repatriate the 8,000 Hmong in Huay Nam Khao.

"It is shocking that Thailand is even considering the return of refugees fleeing from political persecution, rights abuses and fighting in Laos," said Brad Adams, Asia director at the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

"The Thai government's threatened return of the Lao Hmong refugees shows a brazen contempt for the most basic principle of refugee law," he added in a statement made available in Bangkok.