Thursday, November 18, 2010
From across the world, UNPO Presidency Members have joined together to express their dismay at the disregard being shown to the lives and rights of Hmong communities in Laos, where military activities threaten thousands of people
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) has been monitoring developments in the Phou Bia region of the Lao People's Democratic Republic with deepening concern over the past months as reports have grown in number – and graphic detail - of the crimes being perpetrated against the indigenous Hmong ChaoFa population.
Military operations, jointly carried out by Lao and Vietnamese troops, appear to be verging on crimes against humanity. But with limited access to the region preventing the scale of the military operation and its human cost from being known the international community is standing by as men, women and children are encircled by what are reported to be four Lao and one Vietnamese battalions.
The UNPO condemns without reservation Vientane’s and Hanoi’s persistent persecution of innocent Hmong people in the LPDR – a people that have previously been the targets of poisonous gas, rocket grenades, machine guns and denial of access to food
American Congressmen have called for a stop to coerced return to the LPDR of Hmong ChaoFa refugees, but the international community must begin – because nothing has been done to date – to stabilise the area, address and investigate gross violations of basic Hmong human rights and to make those acting in the name of the Laotian and Vietnamese governments responsible and accountable for their actions.
The UNPO calls upon Lao authorities to fully implement the recommendations it accepted following the UPR process of the UN Human Rights Council in May 2010 to "[a]dopt and implement the measures necessary to grant the Hmong the same rights and freedoms as the other members of the Lao population in accordance with international human rights standards, including through genuine engagement with the international community on the issue".