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Cablegate: Reports of Thai Deportation of Hmong Group

VZCZCXRO4048
PP RUEHCHI
DE RUEHBK #5061 2300827
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 180827Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1035
INFO RUEHVN/AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE PRIORITY 2537
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI PRIORITY 2317
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1709

UNCLAS BANGKOK 005061

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

GENEVA PASS RMA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PREL PHUM TH LA
SUBJECT: REPORTS OF THAI DEPORTATION OF HMONG GROUP

1. (SBU) Embassy received reports August 16 from an NGO
worker and a Hmong-American contact that some of the
approximately 270 Hmong detained at seven police stations in
Petchaboon Province for illegal entry into Thailand had been
moved to the Lao border.

2. (SBU) A Thai Immigration official in Chiang Rai Province
and a Petchaboon police official told Embassy on August 16
that five families/31 persons were taken on August 16 from
the Lom Kao police station in Petchaboon Province to a remote
mountain village called Mu Baan Pitakthai, which is close to
the Lao border about 90 kilometers from Chiang Kong City in
Chiang Rai Province and about 60 kilometers from Chiang Kham
City in Phayao Province. The village is apparently populated
mostly by Thai Hmong. The group was given about a week's
worth of dried food and walked from Mu Baan Pitakthai to the
Thai-Lao border. According to the Petchaboon police
official, the group was left at the border and there were no
Lao officials on the other side. There are apparently some
Lao-Hmong villages across the border on the Lao side and some
movement of Hmong in the area back and forth across the
border.
3. (SBU) On August 18, Embassy received conflicting
second-hand reports on the location of this group. The Thai
Chiang Kong official said he had heard from the Thai Border
Patrol Police that the group had crossed into Laos.
(Comment. If the group crossed into Laos it is unclear
whether they did so voluntarily or involuntarily. No reports
have said that Lao officials were present on the other side
of the border. End comment.) A U.S.-based Hmong NGO
activist said that witnesses were reporting the group had
returned to Thailand after being sent across the border into
Laos. Embassy is seeking further information from the Mu
Baan Pitakthai village head.

4. (SBU) A Petchaboon police official reported on August 18
that none of the other Hmong currently being detained at
other police stations in Petchaboon Province had been moved.
Separate telephone calls to some of those police stations
confirmed this information.
BOYCE

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