Bloody and Wounded Hmong Refugees Hauled to Laos
Thailand's Army Trucks Haul Bloody and Wounded Hmong Refugees to Laos
Washington, D.C. and Bangkok, Thailand, December 29, 2009
The Thai military has brutally beaten and seriously wounded hundreds of Hmong refugees in Thailand as it seeks to force them back to the communist regime in Laos they fled. According to reports received from sources inside the main Hmong refugee camp at Huay Nam Khao in Thailand's Petchabun Province the effort to force Hmong back to Laos has been exceedingly violent and bloody
"Sadly, Hmong-American families in the United States as well as sources inside the Hmong camp at Huay Nam Khao are reporting to us that the Thai military effort to force the refugees back to Laos has been very violent and bloody with hundreds wounded," said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C. "Some of the Hmong men wounded today are reported to be in critical condition with severe blood loss from repeated blows to the head, face and torso by Thai soldiers armed with a number of lethal and non-lethal weapons, including electric cattle prods and M-16 machine guns."
"Direct sources from within the Huay Nam Khao refugee camp in Thailand report that more Thai army soldiers have arrived and entered the camp to force the Hmong political refugees and asylum seekers back to Laos," said Vaughn Vang of the Lao Hmong Human Rights Council.
"Huay Nam Khao Hmong refugees are under strict Thai military confinement as they are being forced back to Laos.
"Today, many of the Hmong refugees were seriously wounded by the Thai Army soldiers who have by beating them with shovel handles, heavy clubs and their guns. Many of the refugees are seriously bleeding and many of the men have been beaten so seriously that they cannot walk or stand, and cannot defend their families from the attacking Thai soldiers forcing them onto the trucks and buses.
"The international responses to the reports on December 22, 2009 have resulted in the Thai government setting up a tower in the refugee camp seeking to stop cellular activity within the camp in an effort to prevent communication and any information about the forced repatriation to escape the camp. After setting up the towers, the Thai soldiers within the camp threatened the Hmong refugees that the world will not be able to have access to the events that will be occurring in the next few days to deport these Hmong refugees back to Laos. Thai soldiers further state that the world community will not be able to hear the cries, and see the bloody abuse and brutal torture of the Hmong refugees and will not come to their aid and rescue.
"The reports further state that the number of Thai soldiers has increased to over the number of Hmong refugees within the camp. Also, the Thai government has gathered majority of local nurses to be ready and standing by outside of Huaj Nam Khao Refugees Camp because the Thai government foresees the forced repatriation to be bloody with serious injuries and possible deaths in the next coming days. The reports further state that the Thai soldiers have been ordered to force repatriated all Hmong refugees from the camp completely within the next seven days.
"These innocent Hmong children, women, elders, and civilians are appealing to the United States, United Nation, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, European Union, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and all international human rights organizations, all countries, and the world community to not give up on them.
"They are requesting for the world to urge the Thai government to cease the forced repatriation of the 4,532 innocent Hmong refugees and to send aid and representatives to monitor the situation in the Huaj Nam Khao Refugee Camp."