UN: Thailand should release Hmong refugees

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The U.N. refugee agency says Thailand should release 158 ethnic Hmong refugees detained for 3 years and allow them to move to another country.

UNHCR says the refugees held in a Thai detention center have committed no crimes.

The Geneva-based agency called Tuesday on Thailand to allow these refugees to move to the U.S., Australia, Canada or the Netherlands which have offered to resettle them.

The Hmong are an ethnic group from Laos' rugged mountains. Many fought on the side of a pro-U.S. Laotian government in the 1960s and 1970s before the communist takeover of their country in 1975.

Over 300,000 Laotians, mostly Hmong, fled to Thailand after the takeover citing political persecution. Most were resettled in third countries.


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