Laos: Summary Executions of Hmong Rebels
Laos, Vietnam Increase Summary Executions of Hmong Rebels and Civilians: Attacks, Atrocities & Disappearances Continue
WASHINGTON, March 8 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following statement was jointly released today by the Center for Public Policy Analysis, the Lao Veterans of America Inc., the Laos and Hmong Emergency Crisis Task Force and the United Lao-Hmong Congress for Democracy Inc.:
Urgent satellite telephone calls and other communications from ethnic Hmong and Laotian commanders and village headmen trapped in closed military zones and opposition pockets inside Laos have provided grim details of an unfolding human catastrophe involving continued attacks and atrocities by Lao and Vietnamese military and security forces against rebel and civilian minority groups who have recently surrendered or were captured.
"Reliable information that we are receiving on a daily basis from inside Laos continues to detail the horrific plight of hundreds of captured and surrendering Hmong and Laotian civilians and rebels who are being summarily executed, brutally tortured, raped, or are simply disappearing at the hands of Pathet Lao and Vietnamese military and security forces as a result of a recent series of ongoing military offensives directed in at least three provinces in the country," stated Philip Smith, executive director for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA). Smith also currently serves as the Washington, D.C., director for the Lao Veterans of America Inc. (LVA), the nation's largest Hmong and Laotian veterans organization. Some of the recent Laotian and Hmong victims have relatives in the United States.
Dr. Jane Hamilton-Merritt -- a Lao and Hmong scholar and author of the highly acclaimed book Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, the Americans and the Secret Wars for Laos -- upon reviewing many of the recent reports and information from inside Laos has indicated that they are consistent with her research and findings regarding this matter and the recent history of military and security force operations in these regions of Laos against the Laotian and Hmong people.
"Reports that Hmong and Laotians who have surrendered to the Lao government in recent days are being treated humanely is clearly a gross distortion since hundreds have been starved to death, shot, tortured or have disappeared after capture or surrender," continued Smith. "Additionally, contrary to official reports, a whole lot more than just propaganda leaflets were dropped on the heads of Laotian and Hmong civilian and rebel opposition groups by the Lao and Vietnamese military to get them to surrender in recent days, these included relentless heavy artillery barrages and repeated strafing by helicopter gunships, plus the military has choked off food and medical supplies to the people for months," stated Smith.
Laotian and Hmong commanders reporting details of the new attacks and atrocities include: Yang Toua Thao, Moua Toua Ter, Chong Va Thao, Chong Vang Her, Cher Tong Thao and many others. Large scale military operations and attacks continued in three major areas especially in the vicinity of Vang Vieng and Route 13 in Vientiane Province, Saysamboune Special Military Zone and Xieng Khouang Province. These, and other areas, are also the focus of a government-sponsored campaign of mass starvation against unpacified civilians and rebel-held areas, especially against minority Hmong and Laotians.
The Geneva-based United Nations Committee on Racial Discrimination and Amnesty International issued reports in the late summer and fall of 2003 detailing the Lao regimes use of military attacks and starvation as a weapon of war against the Hmong and Laotian people. In October of 2003, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), Rep. Mark Green (R-Wis.), Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and a bipartisan group of members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced H. Res. 402, to urge the Lao regime to address address these issues, adopt political reforms and allow election, human rights, and religious freedom monitors into the country.
"Commander Yang Toua Thao, operating along Route 13 in the Vang Vieng area, has reported by satellite phone that his son and many others were recently captured -- and that Hmong civilians and rebels have suffered heavy artillery barrages as well as combined air and infantry ground attacks by Pathet Lao and Vietnamese military forces; many in his group have died of starvation in recent weeks and the daily death toll, which includes many unarmed civilians from outlying jungle and mountain areas, continues to mount," continued Smith. "Every effort should be made to intervene in Laos in an emergency humanitarian fashion, in the closed military zones, as recommended by Amnesty International, the United Nations Commission on Racial Discrimination and the U.S. Congress (H.Res. 402); The international community should seek to stop the killing of Hmong civilians and rebels and provided immediate access for them to the International Red Cross, United Nations and NGO humanitarian aid groups," Smith concluded.
Some of the surviving widows of Hmong males who were summarily executed in the last several days in Laos -- after capture or surrender -- include: Mrs. Neng Chue Vang (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Cher Cha Lee (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Fai Chia Lee (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Nhia Houa Lee (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Mian (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Cha Vang (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Ly Foung Vang (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Bee Xiong (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Chong Seng Thao (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Sai Xue Lee (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Xia Lee (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Va Fong Vue (husband summarily executed); Mrs. Cher Thao (husband summarily executed); and, Mrs. Neng Yee Yang (husband summarily executed).
Some of the Hmong civilians who were recently encircled and starved to death by Pathet Lao security forces implementing their mass starvation campaign in the Saysamboun Special Zone and the Vang Vieng area of Vientiane Province include (name, sex, age of victims): Wa Xia Lo, m., age 60 yrs. (death by starvation); Chee Yang, f., 59 yrs. (death by starvation); Chong Moua Lo, m, 62 yrs. (death by starvation); Teng Yang, m, 49 yrs. (death by starvation); Moua Yang, m. 58 yrs. (death by starvation); Tong Yer Yang, m. 62 yrs. (death by starvation); Thai Yang, m, 64 yrs. (death by starvation); Yia Tho Yang, m. 65 yrs. (death by starvation); Chue Yang, m. 60 yrs. (death by starvation); Houa Yee Her, m. 64 yrs. (death by starvation); Lu Yang, m. 60 yrs. (death by starvation); Mai Moua Yang, f. 62 yrs. (death by starvation); Youa Her, f. 59 yrs. (death by starvation); Chou Vue, f. 65 yrs. (death by starvation); Youa Her, f. 68 yrs. (death by starvation); Me Vue, f. 61 yrs. (death by starvation); Nao Her, f. 62 yrs.
Some of the Hmong civilian and rebel husbands who were captured leaving the wives and families alone in the jungle include: Mr. Pa Hue Thao (captured); Mr. Wa Meng Thao (captured); Mr. Meng Thao (captured); Mr. Chai Thao (captured); Mr. Wa Tou Thao (captured); Mr. Boun Sy (captured); and, Mr. Viang (captured).
Some of the Hmong wives and children who were captured, leaving husbands alone in the jungle include:. Mrs. Za Dang Vue (captured); Mrs. Xai Doua Vue (captured); Mrs. Tong Yia Xiong (captured); Mrs. Chue Kue Yang (captured); Mrs. Neng Chue Vang (captured); Mrs. Cher Cha Lee (captured); Mrs. Fai Chia Lee (captured); Mrs. Nhia Houa Lee (captured); Mrs. Mian (captured); Mrs. Cha Vang (captured); Mrs. Ly Foung Vang (captured); Mrs. Bee Xiong (captured); Mrs. Chong Seng Thao (captured); Mrs. Sai Xue Lee (captured); Mrs. Xia Lee (captured); Mrs. Va Fong Vue (captured); Mrs. Cher Thao (captured); and, Mrs. Neng Yee Yang (captured).
Further details about the recent killing, starvation deaths and brutalities inflicted upon hundreds more captured and surrendering Hmong and Laotian civilians and rebels by Pathet Lao and Vietnamese forces are known and available. The information contained in this release is only a partial listing of the victims of the recent and ongoing campaign of state-sponsored and institutional violence in Laos directed at freedom-loving Laotian and Hmong living in unpacified areas and closed military zones.