As the President of the Human Rights Watch Laos, I would like to sincerely thank the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the sixteen Organizations for releasing a joint letter of concern on

Human Rights Watch Laos Calls for International Communities and United Nations to help Hmong returnees to protect the ethnic cleansing in the future as the demand of Lao abroad and a foreign tourist report .
Human Rights Watch Laos continues to call for Lao PDR treatment Hmong returnees as Lao citizens

Online PR News – 07-February-2010 – – As the President of the Human Rights Watch Laos, I would like to sincerely thank the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the sixteen Organizations for releasing a joint letter of concern on the treatment of repatriated Lao Hmong to President Sayasone dated 3 February 2010. In reading the open letter, the compassion that you have shown to other humans, irrespective of race, colour and ethnicity is evident.

JOINT OPEN LETTER ON TREATMENT OF REPATRIATED LAO HMONG

to President Bouasone Sayasone
Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

We write to express our serious concerns for the safety and protection of the 4689 Lao Hmong who were forcibly returned by the Thai government from Ban Huay Nam Khao and Nong Khai to Laos on December 28, 2009.
As you know, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has requested that your government grant it immediate access to all the Hmong returnees. Given the difficulties faced by some prior Hmong returnees, we urge you to immediately allow unhindered and continuous access by UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations to all returnees to ensure that the treatment of the returnees is in accordance with international standards. We believe the presence of credible observers will help allay significant ongoing concerns in the international community about your government’s handling of this situation.
We are concerned that while your government has assured outsiders that it is providing humane treatment to all returnees, no media or outside observers have been allowed to monitor the treatment or location of the Hmong. Recent international media accounts found a group of returned Hmong held in a camp near Paksan, surrounded by razor wire and armed guards, and unable to leave the area. When reporters approached the camp, Lao security officials detained and interrogated them, searched their car, and forced them to depart the area.

We note that the Ministry of foreign Affairs issued a statement on January 4, 2010, which reiterates the returnees are Lao citizens and “enjoy equal rights and obligations like other Lao citizens.” The Lao government must live up to its commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Laos is a party, which requires your government to ensure the right to liberty and security of all persons, which includes freedom from arbitrary detention, freedom of movement, and freedom to choose a place of residence.
The Lao government also has an obligation to ensure that no one is subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Accordingly, the Lao government should take all necessary action to prevent the ill-treatment of returnees. Again, we believe that permitting international observers to have access to these Hmong returnees is in the interest of the Lao government, since such action would likely help assure the international community and the United Nations about your government’s stated intentions to respect their rights.
Lastly, we believe it is imperative that the Lao government allow immediate resettlement to third countries of those returned Hmong with a well-founded fear of persecution. This includes the 158 Hmong forcibly returned from Nong Khai despite being designated as official “persons of concern” by the UNHCR. A number of third countries have offered to resettle these 158 individuals, as well as any other Hmong in the group of returnees who are determined to need international protection. We urge you to grant immediate access to this group for diplomatic representatives of the countries that have accepted them so that the appropriate resettlement processing can be started. We sincerely hope that you will agree to this reasonable request on humanitarian grounds.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.
Sincerely,
Brad Adams, Director, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch
Gideon Aronoff, President and CEO, The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
Fr. Bernard Hyacinch Arputhasamy, S.J., Regional Director. Jesuit Refugee Service - Asia Pacific
Ann Buwalda, Executive Director, Jubilee Campaign USA
Joel R. Charny, Acting President, Refugees International
Frank Donaghue, CEO, Physicians for Human Rights
Fr. Kenneth Gavin, S.J., National Director, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
Douglas Johnson, Executive Director, The Center for Victims of Torture
Lavinia Limon, President, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Carolyn Makinson, Executive Director. Women’s Refugee Commission
Veronika Martin, Executive Director, Karen American Communities Foundation
George Rupp, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
Deborah Stein, Director, Episcopal Migration Ministries
Doua Thor, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Anne P. Wilson, Acting President, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Jennifer Windsor, Executive Director, Freedom House
Johnny Young, Executive Director, Migration and Refugee Services
US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Sam Zarifi, Director, Asia-Pacific Program, International Secretariat, Amnesty International
______________________________________
Janice Beanland
Southeast Asia Team
Amnesty International - International Secretariat
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7413 5660
Skype: janicebeanland Working to protect human

Human Rights Watch Laos Calls for International Communities and United Nations to help Hmong returnees to protect the ethnic cleansing in the future as the demand of Lao abroad and a foreign tourist report .

Human Rights Watch Laos continues to call for Lao PDR treatment Hmong returnees as Lao citizens

It is very disappointed to learn about the visit of 3 USA congressmen to the Hmong returnees in Laos. It is surprised that Congressman Joseph Cao has escaped from the oppressive communist regime but he still has not learned the trick of the communist government. He needs to ask his parents or elders about that before he makes any statement about the communist treatment of the Hmong returnees. Even a little child does not trust the Lao communist government. They are well prepared for all foreign visits...they lie everything in the face of foreign visitors or international communities. The Lao government also tells the returnees not to tell any outside/foreign people any bad things or how they are being treated otherwise they will die. This is the trick of the Lao communist government.
Did these congressmen visit every camp or village where the Hmong were sent to? Did the Lao government disclose all the locations where the returnees live? All the statements makes by the Lao government every day about the treatment of the Hmong, the dirt roads to the villages, and etc.. are not true. Laos has the attitude of denying everything and make excuses so they have time to brainwash all the returnees.

The Lao communist government's plan is to scatter all the returnees to small villages around Laos and then instruct the local or village leaders/authorities to torture, kill or disappear one by one on the returnee's way to the farm, make living and etc... Now the world is watching the Lao government closely and they pretend to treat the returnees nicely in the face of the world but after everything is calm down and all the returnees have been scattered around, let say 5 to 10 years from now, the government will start torturing, killing, raping, and doing whatever they can to eliminate all the Hmong returnees.This is the trick of the communist government and exactly whatthe Lao government plans to do to the Hmong.

The UNHCR should be aware of this trick and all returnees should be accounted and brought to live in one place under the supervision of UN and international communities otherwise the returnees will be disappeared one by one without the knowledge of the international communities. Laos government can't be trusted. To make sure the all the Hmong returnees are safe, a special committee should be set up to closely monitor the returnees. Members of the committee should consist of Hmong (in US, France, Australia), Lao, American, Canada, French, Thai, and others. Without this special committee, all the returnees will not be safe and they will definitely be disappeared one by one it does not matter how long it would take the Lao government to eliminate all the returnees the Lao government would do it, even after 30 years from today on they still do it as long as Laos is still under one party control and a communist country.
I hope the international communities would take this into consideration and take action for the sake of the Hmong returnees. They are all human beings like every one else. Laos claims that there is no war or fighting going on in the country, that is not true. Hmong in small villages around the country disappear every single day but no one is willing to speak up and tell the outside world of what's going on because it is a matter of life and death.

The report from a foreigner tourist confirmed the ethnic cleansing of the Hmong continues to this day.

Your report of arrests both in the South & the north coincide with a report of two foreign motorcyclists being killed last month in the Kasi region north of Vang Vieng.
Expats working in Vientiane say that the general belief is that it did happen, but are reticent to inquire too deeply as they want to stay there. The assumption is that these two unfortunates [nationalities as yet unknown] may have come across a Lao Army operation to pacify/cleanse any dissent before the games.
Here's a link to a well regarded SEA M/C forum with riders regularly riding through the region.

http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/rumours-from-vangviang-t6644.html#40611
You may have heard more.
Sadly ethnic cleansing of the Hmong continues to this day.
Regards , Rh…ie.

Canberra 7/2/10
President of Human Rights Watch Laos, Inc.
Mr Bounkhong Arounsavat

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Contact Information
Mr Bounkhong Arounsavat
P.o. Box 2562
Tuggeranong ACT, 2901

(02) 6292 6505

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