Laos Steps Up Security in Hmong Villages Amid Prisoner Concerns

2014-02-20
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Hmong girls in Luang Prabang, Oct. 8, 2013.
Hmong girls in Luang Prabang, Oct. 8, 2013.
ONLY FRANCE

Authorities in Laos have stepped up security in a northeastern province where ethnic minority Hmongs are concerned over the health and treatment of three members of their community imprisoned for illegal possession of firearms, sources said.

The three elderly men among a group of 14 convicted a year ago for having firearms in Xiengkhuang province are believed to be in poor health, a source in the province said.

Hmongs believe that Pa Cheng Cha, in his early eighties, and Pa Yelor and Cher Wa Lor, both in their early sixties, have not been treated well in prison and never received a fair trial after their arrest following a police raid in 2012, according to the source.

In response to the concern about their cases, authorities in Xiengkhuang, the birthplace of Hmong war hero General Vang Pao, have ordered villages to bolster their security forces to monitor Hmong people’s activities, he said.

“Each village has been ordered to step up its own security,” he told RFA's Lao Service, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“In general, it is part of a campaign to alert people in the villages to be observant in helping the security forces,” he said.

Firearms

The three men are serving terms of between 15 and 18 years in prison, according to the local Vientiane Times newspaper.

They were arrested along with 11 others in July 2012 after police patrolling Phonsavanxay village in Xiengkhuang’s Paek district found an AK-47 rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition.

Villagers were taken in for questioning, leading to the discovery of others with rifles and handguns only police or soldiers are allowed to possess, according to the newspaper.

Of the 11 other men, five were sentenced to 15 years in prison and six given one-year terms.

According to the paper, Pa Cheng Cha, Pa Yelor,  and Chea Wa Lor are serving imprisonment of 18, 17, and 15 years respectively.

Opposition

Lao authorities have long been wary of opposition among the Hmong, many of whom say they face persecution from the government because of their Vietnam War-era ties with the United States.

Thousands of Hmong fought under CIA advisers during a so-called “secret war” against communists in Laos.

General Vang Pao, who spearheaded the 15-year CIA-sponsored war, died in the United States in 2011 at the age of 81.

The outspoken opponent of the Lao government emigrated to the United States after the communists seized power in his country in 1975.

Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Somnet Inthapannha. Written in English by Rachel Vandenbrink.

Comments (18)
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Lao Citizen

from Laos

Communist will not stand forever. A day to born and a day to die. One day in the future the communist will disappear forever. Laos will be Laos forever.

May 31, 2014 02:09 PM

Anonymous Reader

Hmong people are peaceful people. We are just any human. If you go to space, there are no humans up there.

May 17, 2014 12:57 AM

(

I think the U.S should go in and help than out. What ever they said I know that it is not true and the government just wrongly accused these Hmong people. I suggest Hmong people stop been chicken and become a man. [...] defend what is yours and protect your family and many generation of young Hmong boys and girls from this dog.


[This comment has been edited by RFA Editorial staff per our Terms of Use]

Mar 28, 2014 11:13 AM

Hmoob os Hmoob

Yuav kom luag tsis ntxub ces ua ib tus zoo pejxeem, feemcoob luag haiv neeg blog ua licas yus ua li raws xwb ces luag tsis lam ua phem 6 yus li os.

Mar 06, 2014 05:05 PM

HMONG LAO

LAODENG DON'T SCARE ME I AM A GOOD LADIE.LOOK AT ME AND MY FACE.I KNOW IT IS TIME,LAODENG YOU WILL LOST YOUR POWER

Mar 03, 2014 11:53 AM

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