BANGKOK: Thailand will begin repatriating more than 4,000 ethnic Hmong refugees to Laos on Monday despite strong international opposition to the move, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Saturday.
The New York-based international rights group said that armed forces had been mobilised for the deportation from a camp in northern Phetchabun province where the Hmong are being held.
“The first wave of action to clear the camp will happen on December 27 night, and the deportation can start on December 28 morning,” according to an email sent to AFP by HRW Thailand analyst Sunai Phasuk.
“During that (period), mobile phone (signals) will be jammed to prevent the Hmong from contacting outsiders. More than 100 buses and trucks are put on standby,” he said, adding that the army would be in charge of the operation.
A spokesman for the Thai government could not immediately be reached for comment.