World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Laos: Appeal for Release of 3 Hmong-Americans

Laos: Appeal for Release of 3 Hmong-Americans

Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, April 21, 2011
Center for Public Policy Analysis
info@centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and a coalition of Laotian and Hmong non-governmental organizations have joined the Minnesota families of three Hmong-Americans in issuing an appeal for the release of their relatives being held in Laos for over three years by military and communist party officials. The appeal was issued from Washington, D.C., and the Twin Cities of Minnesota, to the Lao government and U.S. President Barack Obama to request that they work at a higher diplomatic level, with urgent priority, to release three Hmong-American citizens arrested and currently imprisoned in Laos.

The three jailed Americans, of ethnic Hmong descent from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, have been imprisoned in Laos for over three years-- according to eye-witness sources, human rights groups, prisoner support organizations, and humanitarian activists, including Australian author and humanitarian advocate Kay Danes. . http://www.presszoom.com/print_story_140676.htm

According to the Foreign Prisoners Support Service in Australia, CPPA, family members and other sources, the three Minnesota men were arrested in Laos by Lao military and security forces while they were visiting Laos in the summer of 2007 as tourists and potential investors.. The three Hmong-Americans remained imprisoned in Laos' Sam Neua Province by Lao military and ministry of interior police.. They are currently being held without charges being filed, or due process.

“We want answers now from the Lao government about the arrest and continued imprisonment of my husband, Hakit Yang, and the other two Hmong-Americans traveling with him from Minnesota,” said Sheng Xiong, a spokeswoman for the families of the three Hmong-Americans arrested in the summer of 2007 in Xieng Khouang Province. http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1089564.html

“Our Lao Hmong families, and the community in St. Paul and Minneapolis, are appealing to the Lao government once again to release my husband Hakit Yang and his colleagues immediately, and unconditionally,” Mrs. Xiong further stated.

“We would like to ask the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the U.S. government to please seriously help to press the Lao military and government to cooperate in telling the truth about the arrest and imprisonment of our families in Laos so that they can be released and come home to their loved ones, including their wives and children,” Xiong said.

“We are grateful to Kay Danes and the Foreign Prisoners Support Service in Australia for helping to bring new and updated information and evidence about the arrest and continued jailing of my husband in Laos and we appreciate her book 'Standing Ground' regarding her experience and first-hand knowledge about the the plight of prisoners at Phonthong Prison in Vientiane were my husband was jailed by the Lao authorities,” Xiong concluded.

Lao People's Army (LPA) troops and secret police arrested the three Americans: Mr. Hakit Yang, 24; Mr. Conghineng Yang,, 34; and Trillion Yunhaison, 44. The three were U.S. citizens from St. Paul, Minnesota and the Twin Cities area of Minnesota where their immediate families remain. A fourth Hmong individual Mr. Pao Vang, of unknown nationality and age, was reportedly acting as tour guide for the group, and was also reportedly arrested and jailed with them according to sources inside Laos.

“The LPA and secret police later moved the three Americans, including Sheng Xiong's husband Hakit Yang, to Laos' notorious Phonthong Prison, in the capital of Vientiane, where the men were interrogated, beaten and tortured according to eyewitnesses as well as numerous and redundant Hmong, Laotian, Australian, and other sources,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director for the CPPA in Washington, D.C. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org

“In 2009, the three Hmong-American men were again moved a second time in army trucks and vehicles, and are now being held in a secret LPA military-operated prison camp in Sam Neua Province, Laos, “ Smith stated.

“Australian human rights activist and author Kay Danes as well as the Foreign Prisoners Support Service have also uncovered more details of the Lao government's continued imprisonment and mistreatment of the three American's from Minnesota.,” Smith continued.

“We are urging President Barack Obama to press the Lao military and government, at a higher diplomatic level, to release the three Americans from the Twin Cities of Minnesota,” Smith said.

“We are also appealing to President Obama, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to assist with the release of Lao and Hmong political prisoners and religious dissidents in Laos, including jailed Lao student pro-democracy leaders and the Hmong translator for Pastor Naw Karl Mua, of St. Paul, and two European journalists who were also previously arrested and imprisoned in Laos,” Smith concluded.

“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the continued imprisonment by the Lao military and communist officials in Laos of Mr. Hakit Yang, Mr. Conghineng Yang and Trillion Yunhaison, who are U.S. citizens still being held without charge in horrific conditions in Laos by the Lao Peoples Army and secret police,” said Christy Lee, the Executive Director of Hmong Advance, Inc. (HAI) in Washington, D.C.

“Laotian and Hmong-Americans are concerned that this is yet another brutal example of the Lao government's, and LPA military's, institutional violence and endemic racism directed against the Hmong people in Laos who continue to suffer mistreatment, gross human rights violations, extra-judicial killings, religious persecution, the confiscation of their land, and many other terrible abuses from the Lao military and corrupt communist party officials,” Ms. Lee stated from HAI offices in Washington..

On March 16, 2011, the CPPA and others issued and international appeal regarding the plight of the three Hmong-Americans from Minnesota as well as political prisoners and religious dissidents being jailed in Laos.
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110316007171/en/Laos-Hmong-Crisis-Rights-Groups-International-Appeal

The United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva has repeated cited the government of Laos, and Lao People's Army soldiers and commanders, for egregious human rights violations and institutional racism, including the rape and killing of unarmed Lao Hmong civilians.

In 2003, the United Nations' CERD passed a resolution in Geneva condemning the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) for atrocities against the Hmong including the rape and murder of Hmong children by LPA forces. Thereafter, it again raised concerns about attacks against Hmong civilians and opposition groups in Laos. http://www.universalhumanrightsindex.org/documents/824/1223/document/en/pdf/text.pdf
http://www.universalhumanrightsindex.org/documents/824/960/document/en/pdf/text.pdf

“We want the one-party communist regime in Laos to abide by international law and release the three Lao Hmong-American citizens from St. Paul who have been jailed in Laos for over three years, ” said Boon Boualaphanh , of the Minneapolis -based United Lao for Human Rights and Democracy (ULHRD). “These America citizens and other prisoners , including prisoners of conscience and political prisoners, should also be released by the Lao military and communist party authorities including the Lao student leaders of the October 1999 Movement for Democracy in Vientiane.”
..
The Hmong-Americans currently being jailed in Laos, have no known political or family ties to opposition or dissident factions and had departed the United States for travel to Laos on July 10, 2007, from the Twin Cities of Minnesota as tourists and to potentially seek business and investment opportunities in Laos, prior to their arrest and imprisonment.

Australian Kay Danes, a former political prisoner in Laos, spoke in the U.S. Congress and the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in April 2009, with Sheng Xiong about the current imprisonment and plight of the three Americans in Laos. Danes is the author of “Standing Ground” a book about her ordeal in Phonthong Prison in Vientiane, Laos, where the three Americans were also imprisoned and tortured before being moved to secret military prison in Sam Neua Province by Lao military and security forces.

Laos is governed by a one-party communist regime whose leadership has repeatedly been deemed as “Press Predators” by the Paris, France-based Journalists Without Borders ( JSF ). Amnesty International and other independent human rights organizations have also raise serous concerns http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGASA260022006


For nearly a decade, a Hmong translator with links to the Twin Cities, who assisted Minnesota Hmong-American Pastor Naw Karl Mua (Naw Karl Moua) and two European journalists, Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud, is still imprisoned in Laos on allegations regarding their efforts to document human rights violations. The group documented horrific attacks and atrocities committed by the LPA on Laotian and Hmong civilians, independent Animist and Christians communities, and dissident groups.

Over 8,000 Lao Hmong refugees were forced back to Laos in 2009, and were placed in charge of a LPA General, General Bouasieng Champaphanh, who has repeatedly involved with answering serious human rights and religious freedom violations, and atrocity, charges by the United Nations and independent human rights and religious freedom organizations. http://media-newswire.com/release_1108993.html

The non-profit and non-governmental organizations joining the three Hmong-American families in urging Laos to release the three Americans from Minnesota include the CPPA, HAI, Hmong Advancement, Inc., ULHRD, Lao Human Rights Council, Inc., Hmong Students Association, Lao Hmong Students For Democracy, United League for Democracy in Laos, Laos Institute for Democracy, Lao Veterans of America, Inc., and others.

##

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news