“Lao Brigadier General Bouasieng Champaphanh, along with other senior Lao Peoples Army commanders and Politburo members, have engaged in efforts before the United Nations to deny and cover-up atrocities and war crimes committed in recent years to exterminate Hmong dissidents and unarmed civilians in the jungles and mountains of Laos, including in Xieng Khouang Province, Boulikhamxai and Vientiane Provinces,” said Philip Smith of the CPPA.
Online PR News – 29-December-2009 – – Nong Khai and Bangkok, Thailand and Washington, D.C., December 29, 2009
Concerns are growing about the background and history of a Lao general charged with the repatriation and resettlement of Hmong refugees from Thailand to Laos.
The head of the Lao effort to forcibly repatriate Lao Hmong refugees from Thailand to Laos is a senior Lao Peoples Army (LPA) general who has a track record of denying findings of war crimes and atrocities by Amnesty International, the United Nations and others. Brigadier General Bouasieng Champaphanh (AKA Bouaxieng Champaphanh or Bouxieng Champaphanh), chairman of the Lao-Thai general border sub-committee, is also the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Lao Armed Forces which has targeted the Hmong in Laos for military attacks and political and religious persecution. General Bouasieng Champaphanh has been put in charge of the Hmong repatriated from Thailand to Laos.
“Lao Brigadier General Bouasieng Champaphanh, along with other senior Lao Peoples Army commanders and Politburo members, have engaged in efforts before the United Nations to deny and cover-up atrocities and war crimes committed in recent years to exterminate Hmong dissidents and unarmed civilians in the jungles and mountains of Laos, including in Xieng Khouang Province, Boulikhamxai and Vientiane Provinces,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis.
“This is the equivalent of putting SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann in charge of the plan for the so-called ‘Jewish resettlement’ in Poland and Germany during World War II,” Smith continued.
In 2003, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination passed a resolution in Geneva condemning the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) for atrocities against the Hmong including the rape and murder of Hmong children by LPA forces. Thereafter, it again raised concerns about attacks against Hmong civilians and opposition groups in Laos. http://www.universalhumanrightsindex.org/documents/824/1223/document/en/pdf/text.pdf
Amnesty International has also repeatedly documented atrocities against the Hmong by the LPA against Hmong civilians which were also denied by Laos and General Bouasieng and other LPA Generals. The LPA controls the central committee of the LPDR politburo with a majority of senior military officers controlling the communist party in Laos.
“Ironically, General Bouasieng Champaphanh, an officer in charge of military operations directed against the Hmong in Laos, placed LPA officers in charge of investigating the war crimes they were accused of committing in Xieng Khoang Province and elsewhere for the purpose of denying it to the United Nations after the passage of the resolution by the United Nations Committee in Geneva in 2003,” Smith said. “Earlier this year, Thailand’s Prime Minister and General Anupong Paochinda allowed General Bouasieng Champaphanh to visit the Hmong refugee camp at Ban Huay Nam Khao and speak to the refugees who repeatedly refused his demands to volunteer to return to Laos.”
“Brigadier General Bouasieng Champaphanh, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Lao Armed Forces, has also been in charge of denying all human rights violations regarding the Hmong, including denying all charges by Amnesty International and others,” Smith stated.
“The Chief of Staff of the Army and Deputy Chief of Staff, including the office of General Bouasieng Champaphanh, have authorized repeated ‘Einsatzgruppen’ ethnic cleansing operations, military operations and a campaign of mass starvation against many Lao Hmong civilians and dissident groups in recent months and years,” Smith said.
Laos does not have an independent judiciary. It is a one-party, authoritarian military regime.
In 2004, the U.S. Congress passed H. Res. 402 in response to the Hmong crisis in Laos and Thailand and attacks and human rights violations against Hmong and Laotian civilians and dissidents.
“Over the last three years, political analysts have painstakingly documented evidence that supports the ongoing persecution of Lao Hmong and Political Prisoners in secret detention centres throughout Laos. It is a broadly accepted view held by the International Community that the Lao Hmong Refugees will face similar persecution, arbitrary detention, torture, and possibly death, if forced back to Laos. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Foreign Prisoner Support Service have independently reported returnee abuse in Laos” said Kay Danes, advocate for the Foreign Prisoner Support Service in Australia and a former political prisoner in Laos.
Contact: Juan Lopez or Ms. Maria Gomez
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