Kay Danes, Sheng Xiong to Speak About Laos, Hmong Human Rights Issues
"The current plight of the Laotian and Hmong people, both in Thailand and Laos, continues to alarm many in the international community," said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. "Kay Danes new book "Standing Ground' and her visit to Washington, D.C. and the United States to address U.S. policymakers about current issues in Laos comes at a very important and pivotal time," continued Smith.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Washington, D.C., April 16, 2009 - The Center for Public Policy Analysis ( CPPA ) will sponsor a National Policy Conference and Press Conference from 8:30 A.M.-11:00 A.M., on Thursday, April 16, 2009, at the Zenger Room of the National Press Club ( 529 14th Street N.W., Washington, DC 20045 ).
The National Policy Conference and Press Conference will be organized in a panel discussion format and is entitled: "Laos, Hmong Crisis: Refugees, Political Prisoners and Human Rights Violations in Thailand and Laos."
"The current plight of the Laotian and Hmong people, both in Thailand and Laos, continues to alarm many in the international community," said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. "Kay Danes new book ‘Standing Ground' and her visit to Washington, D.C. and the United States to address U.S. policymakers about current issues in Laos comes at a very important and pivotal time," continued Smith.
"The health and well being of Hakit Yang, and the two other Hmong-American citizens from St. Paul Minnesota that he was traveling with in 2007 when they were arrested by Lao military and security forces, continues to remain an issue to their families and many in the Lao Hmong-American community," Smith stated. "Like Kay Danes, they were jailed and tortured in the notorious Phongtong Prison in Vientiane, Laos, by the Lao government while the outside world ignored their terrible fate."
Keynote speakers at the panel discussion at the National Press Club policy conference include: Kay Danes, Australian author and human rights advocate; Sheng Xiong, spokesperson for Hmong-American citizens of St. Paul, Minnesota imprisoned in Laos; and Philip Smith, Executive Director, CPPA.
Other speakers include: Bounthanh Rathigna, President, United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc.; Oudong Saysana, Lao Students Movement for Democracy; Boon Boulaphanh, Lao Community of Minnesota and others.
Kay Danes, Australian author, social activist and former political prisoner in Laos. Kay Danes' forthcoming book, Standing Ground, will be discussed, especially in the context of current refugee, human rights and political-economic developments in Laos and Thailand. Kay Danes was imprisoned in the notorious Phonthong Prison in Laos where she was both a witness and victim of torture. Mrs. Danes is also active in support of those jailed in foreign countries without due process through her work with the Foreign Prisoners Support Service where she serves as Senior Advocacy Director and Liaison. www.kaydanes.com
Mrs. Sheng Xiong is a Hmong-American citizen from St. Paul, Minnesota; She is married to Mr. Hakit Yang who was arrested and imprisoned in Laos in 2007 by Lao military and security forces along with two other U.S. citizens, of Hmong descent.
"The plight of 6,000 Lao Hmong political refugees and asylum seekers at Ban Huay Nam Khao, Petchabun Province, and Nong Khai, Thailand, who are faced with dire humanitarian conditions and forced repatriation back to Laos, will be discussed at the events at the National Press Club and U.S. Congress," concluded Smith.
Laos and Hmong delegations from Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and other states are slated to attend and participate.
The event is cosponsored by the Center for Public Policy Analysis, National Press Club, Lao Veterans of America, Inc., Lao Community of Minnesota, Hmong community of St. Paul, Minnesota, United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., Lao Students Movement for Democracy, Hmong Lao Human Rights Council, and a coalition of Lao and Hmong non-governmental and human rights organizations.
Events in the U.S. Congress will be held on Friday, April 17 regarding Laos and the plight of the Hmong.
Maria Gomez Tele. ( 202 ) 543-1444 firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for Public Policy Analysis 2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, No. #212 Washington, D.C. 20006 USA www.cppa-dc.org
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