The Hmong refugees at Ban Huay Namkhao Camp in Phetchabun province said they will not go back to Laos, they are ready to die in Thailand better than being forced back to Laos.
Dao Vong Thor, a Hmong leader in the camp told VOA that the protest of more than 5,000 Hmong refugees at Ban Huay Namkhao camp, which started on May 16 is still continuing and these refugees are ready to die instead of going back to Laos because they believed in Laos they will face persecution.
Mr. Noppadon Pattama, Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs had recently said that Thailand will not force the Hmong refugees back to Laos and third countries who want to take the Hmong will have to talk to Lao officials because these Hmong refugees are Lao, not Thai citizens.
More than 200 Hmong refugees have already been sent back to Laos since February of this year and latest group was handed over last weekend when 59 Hmong refugees were transferred to Laos to Laos’ officials. Thai and Lao officials said these Hmongs went back voluntarily.
Laos and Thailand consider the Hmong refugees victims of human trafficking and illegal immigrants, and both countries has agreed to send all of them back to Laos by the end of this year. However, both countries believed the process will take longer than that set time.
Listen to our Lao Today for details.