Photo: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department
STOP THE GENOCIDE IN LAOS: URGENT!!
Many ethnic Hmong in Laos have been victims of genocide enduring constant military attacks and torture by the Laos Government for over 30 years. Despite clear evidence of genocide against the thousands of Hmong hiding in fear in the mountainous areas of Laos, the United Nations and world leaders have failed to take any practical action to stop the genocide before it is too late. Foreign journalists and international human rights organisations have repeatedly voiced their concerns of the appalling atrocities that are happening in Laos to relevant officials, including the United Nations and the U.S. State Department, but still no action has been taken - leaving the Laos Government free to continue committing these crimes.
The objective of our campaign is to inform the international community about the genocide and get significant numbers of people calling on their Governments to take action. You can urge your Government to take immediate action to stop the genocide in Laos by doing the following:
Send our Brief Sample Letter to your government urging them to take immediate action to stop the genocide in Laos. Please send the relevant sample letters by post or email (please add the date and your name before sending) to the following list of State Leaders, Foreign Ministers, Ambassadors and International Organisations.
Note: You can send the Sample letter to Government officials of all countries that have diplomatic relations with the Government of Laos (this includes Australia, United States, and many more) - just change the details of the person to who the letter is addressed)
BRIEF VERSION OF SAMPLE LETTER
I ask you to take urgent and immediate action to stop the Laos Government from committing further genocide against the ethnic Hmong. Foreign journalists and international organisations have repeatedly voiced their concerns for the shocking atrocities that are being committed against the Hmong hiding in the jungles of Laos after having observed and collected evidence of ground and air military attacks, chemical attacks, torture, enslavement, rape, murder, and starvation and illness through the deprivation of food, water, medical care and humanitarian assistance. These Hmong hiding in the jungle, innocent men, women and children, even babies, are having to live in constant fear as they are attacked and murdered by surrounding Lao and Vietnamese soldiers. They are isolated and suffering every day - many dying as a result of military attacks, torture by ground troops, and from starvation and illness - all part of the brutal military campaign of the Laos Government to kill the Hmong who remained in their country after the illigitimate communist takeover in 1975.
Many groups have come out of the jungle and surrended - however their whereabouts are unknown and it is likely they have been imprisoned or murdered. The fate of many of the throusands of Hmong refugees forcibly repatriated to Laos from Thailand is also unknown. Of those refugees, some were granted UNHCR refugee status, including children, and have disappeared after returning to Laos.
It is clear that the Laos Government is committing genocide against the Hmong hiding in the jungles of Laos, and has been doing so for over 30 years. Documented evidence including video footage of the secret genocide in Laos is available and can easily be found, for example, by going to the website of U.S. based non-profit organisation Fact Finding Commission (www.factfinding.org).
Although the Australian Government undertakes talks with the Lao authorities on occasion regarding human rights, and also with the United Nations, it is clear that these discussions have not, and will not, make any difference for the desperate situation of the Hmong in-hiding. As mentioned, the Laos Government denies this genocide. The United Nations hasn't even acknowledged the genocide despite all the evidence. And when western governments such as Australia and the United States encourage investment and trade in Laos, contributing a significant proportion of the countries GDP, they are also legitimizing the single-party regime, and condoning their actions against the people. The Lao authorities have already heard of concerns from members of the international community about the plight of the Hmong, however as long as they continue to deny the genocide and countries continue to invest and trade with Laos, then they can continue to do whatever they like to the people of Laos, without being held to account.
In response to the genocide being committed against the Hmong, I am urging the Government to take more serious, result-orientated action against the Laos Government. Using political and economic mechanisms as leverage, ask the Laos Government to cease all military operations in areas where Hmong are hiding and allow international observers and humanitarian organisations to assist the Hmong, providing them with food and a safe passage out of the jungle to a safe area.
Send this letter, or your own personalised letter to:
The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Post: PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, ACT, 2600
Phone: 02 6277 2102
Fax: 02 6277 8497
Contact the Australian Foreign Minister
Australian Permanent Mission to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva
Post: Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General, Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 172, 1211 Geneva 19
Phone: 41 0 22 799 9100
Fax: 41 0 22 799 9175
The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia
Post: The Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Contact the Australian Prime Minister
President Barak Obama, President of the United States
Post: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500
Phone: 202 456 1414
Fax: 202 456 2461
Send a brief message to the United States President
Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Post: 150 East, 42nd Street, 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10017-5612
Phone: 1 212 351 6600
Fax: 1 212 351 6610
Australian Ambassador to Laos
Post: Attention: Ms Lynda Worthaisong, Australian Ambassador to Laos,
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, R.G. Casey Building, John McEwen Crescent, Barton ACT 0221 Australia
U.S. State Department
Post: Attention: Michael H. Posner, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, B2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC, 20520
Phone: 202 647 4000 or 202 647 6575
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs
Post: 2170 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515
Phone: 202 225 5021
Karen B. Stewart, U.S. Ambassador to the Lao People's Democratic Republic
Post: Attention: U.S. Ambassador to the Lao People's Democratic Republic, 19 Rue Bartholonie, That Dam, Vientiane, Laos
Phone: 856 21 26 7000
Fax: 856 21 26 7190
SAMPLE LETTER FOR UNITED NATIONS
United Nations, Human Rights Council
Post: Human Rights Council and Treaties Division
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: (41 22) 917 90 11
Mr Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur on Torture
Post: Urgent Appeal, Special Rapporteur on Torture
United Nations Office, Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Mr. Francis Deng, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide
Send a message to Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide
Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Post: Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, One UN Plaza DC1 - 627 F, New York, NY 10017
Phone: 1 212 963 3178
Fax: 1 212 963 0807
Asian Human Rights Commission
Post: 19/F, Go-Up Commercial Building, 998 Canton Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Phone: 852 2698 6339
Fax: 852 2698 6367
Website: http://www.ahrchk.net/modules7635.html [When selecting Department to email select ''Urgent Appeals Programme'']
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Post: Rue de Varembe 1, 2nd Floor, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland (Head Office) or,
Room 12-01, 12th Floor, Times Square Building, 246 Sukhumvit Road, Between Soi 12-14, Klongtoey, 10110 Bangkok, Thailand (Regional Office)
Phone: 66 0 2 653 2940 1
Fax: 66 0 2 653 2942
ASEAN Secretariat, AICHR - ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights
Post: Public Outreach and Civil Society Division, 70A Jalan Sisingamangaraja, Jakarta, 12110, Indonesia
Sending a signed letter by post however is a more effective means of communication.
Tell others: You can get others to take action using social networking. Consider following Little Survivors on Facebook and Twitter, and re-tweeting our updates. You can get others to take action online or you could write an article about the issue and send it to a newspaper editor.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE GENOCIDE IN LAOS BY TAKING A LOOK AT OUR ONLINE RESOURCES
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE GENOCIDE IN LAOS BY TAKING A LOOK AT OUR ONLINE RESOURCES