The group of 149 Hmong refugees, who went on a hunger strike last Friday to protest their detention in what they call “inhumane” conditions in a Nong Khai immigration jail, have ended their strike after Thai authorities assured them that their living conditions will be improved, and the United States said it is considering help for them.
A spokesman for Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said moves are underway to improve living conditions for the refugees who have been jailed in two small cells with no sunlight according to an American embassy official.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Hmong refugees being detained at a new temporary camp at Ban Huay Nam Khao in Thailand's Phetchabun province said they will certainly face political persecution and possibly death if they are forced into returning to Laos.
The Hmong leader Ly Seu made the comments to VOA-Lao Service Bangkok stringer, upon hearing news that representatives of the Thai and Lao armies will meet for the first time in Ban Huay Nam Khao on Sept. 2-4, to discussion an action plan for the refugees' repatriation to Laos. The Lao delegation will also take this opportunity to inspect the refugees' living conditions at Ban Huay Nam Khao.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Lao.