From The Nation, a disturbing story about alleged mistreatment of Hmong refugees (from Laos) in a Thai immigration detention centre. Here is an extract:
Officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are talking with Thai authorities about 194 people rounded up in Bangkok about three weeks ago.
Most of the “illegals” held at the Immigration Detention Centre in Suan Phlu are Hmong who have fled brutal suppression in Laos. Almost all those in custody are believed to have UN documents declaring them to be “persons of concern”.
Given that, rights activists here and in the US are wondering why the 194 have to be locked up in the packed detention centre – where many are reportedly sick and fearful – while awaiting resettlement in third countries. The Hmong in Suan Phlu includes pregnant women and elderly. They claim to have been repeatedly threatened with being sent back and that Lao officials have been allowed into the IDC and given all their details.
“It is ridiculous and preposterous to have them penned up like they are,” one member of a major international group said this week.
The full article contains links to websites with even more disturbing claims of human rights abuses in Laos itself.