December 24, 2009 - Agence France-Presse - US 'Deeply Concerned' at Possible Hmong Expulsion
US 'deeply concerned' at possible Hmong expulsion
(AFP) – December 24, 2009
WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday urged Thailand to drop plans to send more than 4,000 ethnic Hmong back
to communist Laos, saying such expulsions would imperil many of them and violate international principles.
United States is deeply concerned about reports of the imminent and involuntary deportation by Thai authorities of 4,200 ethnic
Lao Hmong to Laos," acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.
The statement comes
after nine US senators wrote last week to Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to protest the possible expulsion of the Hmong
from Huay Nam Khao Camp in Petchabun province, Thailand.
Thailand confirmed Wednesday the move would take place
by year's end despite an international outcry.
Toner noted that the Thai government had determined that many of
the Hmong at the camp need protection.
He added that Washington is also concerned about the fate of 158 Hmong in
a Thai immigration detention facility in Nong Khai province.
The Hmong at that site "have been determined
by the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees to be refugees in need of protection," Toner said.
returns would violate the international principle of non-refoulement and imperil the well-being of many individuals,"
The United States, along with other countries, has been working with Thailand and Laos to find a "mutually
acceptable resolution in line with international principles," he said, adding that such a solution is "achievable."
"We again urge the Royal Thai Government to uphold the international principle of non-refoulement and refrain
from forcibly returning Lao Hmong who merit protection," Toner said.
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