Hmong refugees at Ban Huay Nam Khao in Thailand's Phetchabun province say Thai authorities have tightened restrictions on their movements and have separated them into groups to make it easier for them to supervise.
A Hmong refugee told VOA that his people were divided into seven groups and were told to get all their documents together and ready for screening. Thai army officials who manage the Ban Huay Nam Khao detention camp have also taken away the refugees' cell phones to restrict their communication. He also said about 70 young boys are reportedly taken out of the camp daily to work for the army.
Thai and Lao officials do not consider the Hmongs at Ban Huay Nam Khao refugees but illegal immigrants, and have refused repeated requests by the UNHCR to screen them. Both governments have agreed to repatriate the refugees to Laos as soon as possible. And the Lao government has made preparations to accept them and resettle them at Ban Phalack in Kasi district.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Lao.