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McCollum Statement on the Forced Repatriation to Laos of Hmong Refugees by the Government of Thailand

December 29, 2009
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) released the following statement regarding the recent forced repatriation of Hmong refugees:

"The forced repatriation to Laos by Thai authorities of more than 4,500 Hmong refugees from Huay Nam Khao in Phetchabun, Thailand, violates the basic principle of human dignity and decency upheld by international law. For the past six years since this refugee group was congregated at Huay Nam Khao in Thailand, the Thai government has repeatedly refused requests by the U.S. government to resettle this group to third countries.  Thai authorities have also denied requests for access to this population by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) and other human rights groups.  The safety and well being of this group is vital, and I will continue to work closely with the U.S. Department of State and the Lao government to monitor the reintegration process of this group in Laos."