ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Thai Authorities Interview Huay Nam Khao Hmongs


Hmong refugees at Ban Huay Nam Khao in Thailand's Phetchabun province say they are being actively interviewed by military personnel of the Thai Army overseeing the refugee camp.

The interview includes fingerprinting and picture taking. The refugees say they are asked questions about their CIA connections, whether or not they had taken up arms against the government when they lived in Laos, and if so, where did they get their weapons.

Davone Thor, a Hmong leader in the camp, adds that Thai authorities threaten them with eviction from the camp if they do not cooperate.

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees and the French charity organization Medicins Sans Frontiers or Doctors Without Borders, the only humanitarian group who has been providing assistance to the refugees, say the Huay Nam khao Hmongs are legitimate refugees, who fled persecution by Lao troops because of their CIA connections.

But Thailand and Laos consider them economic refugees and illegal immigrants. Lao authorities say the Hmongs were lured to Thailand by promises that they will be accepted for resettlement in a third country.

Both government have agreed to repatriate them to Laos by the end of 2008. The interviews being conducted on the refugees currently are seen as parts of the repatriation process.

Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Lao.

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