Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wives Hold Vigal for Men Missing in Laos

St. Paul Hmong-Americans’ Wives to Hold Vigil

The wives and families of three Hmong-Americans missing in Laos since their arrest on August 25 by Lao military and security forces in Vang Vieng, Xieng Khouang Province Laos will hold a vigil to await the return of their husbands at the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota airport at the international arrival section on Sunday, September 9 from 12:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M.

“We want concrete answers from the Lao government not denials; and we want our husbands, who are American citizens, to be able to walk out the airport door here and come home,” stated Sheng Xiong the wife of Hakit Yang, 29, one of the three Hmong-Americans arrested, jailed and missing in Laos.

Sheng Xiong continued: “I am very frustrated by the lack of information from the government of Laos as well as the denials from the Laotian authorities that U.S. citizens by the names of Hakit Yang, Congshineng Yang and Trillion Yuhaison were arrested or are being detained. The Lao authorities denial needs to be investigated and addressed appropriately. I know that the current situation regarding the Hmong people in Laos is very sensitive and I am fearful for Hakit and the other two Hmong Americans well being.”

The three Hmong-Americans were last seen in the notorious Ponthong Prison in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, where Lao security forces have tortured and killed hundreds of political and other prisoners over the years whom they arbitrarily arrest and imprison. Multiple reliable sources, including eyewitnesses, have confirmed the imprisonment at Ponthong prison of the three Hmong Americans and their Lao-Hmong guide, Pao Vang, shortly after their arrests. The four Hmong were taken from the jail by the Lao military and security officials by military truck on August 30 and moved to an unknown location .