US senators press Laos for access to Hmongs
Associated Press
2010-01-16 08:11 AM
Eight U.S. senators are pressing Laos to allow international officials access to Hmong refugees repatriated to Laos from neighboring Thailand.

The letter, sent a week ago and released Friday, urged Lao Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to ensure that foreign diplomats or international organizations be informed of location, movements and welfare of the 4,500 asylum seekers forcibly deported Dec. 28 from neighboring Thailand.

Laos has promised full access, the senators wrote, which is "critically important" to the welfare of the Hmong. Laos denied access to U.N. representatives shortly after the Hmongs' expulsion. About 103 foreign-born Hmong live in the United States, brought here after the Vietnam War because of their cooperation with U.S. forces in Laos.

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