An international human rights group has accused Laos troops of human rights violations against children. In a statement released Sept. 13, Amnesty International says it is horrified by recent reports, including video evidence and witness testimony, of an attack by Lao soldiers against a group of five Hmong children, four of them girls, in the Xaisomboune military zone on May 19, 2004.
Amnesty International also says the Lao authorities must, as a matter of utmost urgency, permit UN agencies and independent monitors unfettered access to those rebels who are recently reported to have "surrendered". They must also permit humanitarian agencies to provide medical and food assistance to those injured as a result of this and other military operations against the rebels.
Meanwhile, communist Laos denied the report. Yong Chanthalangsy, spokesman at the Laotian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said today he had seen the video footage and believed it had been doctored.
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