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Laos military launches bloody attacks on Hmong

Laos military launches bloody attacks on Hmong civilians in hiding


Bangkok, Thailand and Washington, D.C., December 31, 2008
Contact: Maria Gomez

The Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) has launched a deadly new military offensive against Hmong civilians in Xieng Khouang Province, Vientiane Province, Luang Prabang Province and elsewhere in Laos. Sources inside Laos as well as Laotian and Hmong refugees in Thailand and human rights and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have reported the new offensive largely centered in mountainous and remote areas of Laos in the Phou Lung, Pha Phai and Phou Bia mountain area. The Lao Human Rights Council, Inc., the Center for Public Policy Analysis and other organizations have issued humanitarian appeals and statements.

"On December 29, 2008, special units of the Lao Peoples Army at the direct order of Lao military commanders and senior party and defense ministry officials in Hanoi and Vientiane, Laos launched attacks on Hmong civilians at the Phou Lung, Pha Phai, Phou Bia areas," stated Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis. "In these recent attacks which are continuing, hundreds of innocent Hmong civilians were reportedly killed and wounded by the Lao military which is being backed by Vietnamese advisors and troops."

Smith continued: "Some 7,000 Hmong political refugees in Thailand are now in danger of being forced back to Laos from Ban Huay Nam Khao and Nong Khai, Thailand to this deplorable environment and blood bath in Laos where their security, human rights and lives are clearly at stake; many of the Laotian and Hmong refugees in Thailand seeking asylum fled from these very sorts of attacks by the Lao military and LPDR regime in recent years."

Amnesty International, the New York Times, the BBC and other independent human rights and news media organizations have issued reports about Hmong civilians and dissident groups subjected to persecution, starvation and attack by the Lao military and LPDR regime. http://asiapacific.amnesty.org/aidoc/ai.nsf/Index/ENGASA260042004
http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=ENGUSA20070323001

Amnesty International has issued reports about the mass starvation and war crimes being committed against Laotian and Hmong civilians hiding in the jungles and mountains of Laos. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA26/003/2007

Vaughn Vang of the Lao Human Rights Council, Inc. issued the following statement in response to the heavy LPDR military attacks of December 29, 2008, against Hmong civilians that persist and have resulted in many Hmong casualties in recent days:

"Hmong groups in hiding in Laos in the Phou Bia, Phou Lung, and Pha Phai areas have reported that at 10:00 am on December 29, 2008, the Lao PDR government launched two military attacks by two groups of Lao Army troops, consisting of more than 120 soldiers, led by Commander Soua Yang Xiong, Commander Ai Chai, and guided by Tong Ntxoog Xiong to attack Hmong groups In-hiding in Phou Bia, Phou Lung, and Pha Phai, Laos.

A Lao military helicopter was reported flying around, strafing and attacking Hmong groups in hiding in key locations and sprayed deadly chemicals to them prior to the latest military attack against the Hmong people. The Hmong groups in-hiding, including women, children and elders, were seriously affected, sickened and disabled by this chemical weapon dispersed prior to being attacked by the Lao military.

Many Hmong have died by this deadly chemical attack; the Lao PDR government soldiers are currently relentless pursuing and attacking these Hmong groups in-hiding for the past three days.

Hmong groups in hiding are appealing to the United States, United Nations, international human rights organizations and the world community to immediately demand the Lao PDR Government to end this genocide, ethnic cleansing war and war crimes against Hmong groups in-hiding in all areas of Laos.

The Hmong in the jungle that are under attack by the Lao military have repeatedly stated: ‘We are civilians, women and children and we only wish to live in peace, freedom without fear of persecution, torture and death by the Laos PDR government.'

U.S Ambassador Ravic Huso, Harvey Somers, Chief of Political and Economic Section, a Representative of EU Commissioner to Vietnam, and UNHCR reportedly visited the Hmong returnee resettlement in Laos in the Phalak Village on December 10, 2008.

To end this genocide, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing war by the Lao government and LPDR regime against the Hmong and Laotian people in Laos as well as the refugee crisis in Thailand and the increased numbers of Hmong in hiding in the jungles of Laos, these key figures and diplomats need to, also, put immediate attention and priority on the issue of the many Hmong and Laotian civilian groups in hiding in the jungles of Laos."

( End Statement of Vaughn Vang, Director of the Hmong Lao Human Rights Council, Inc.)

###

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