‘Returning Refugees: Extradition to Torture’ UNPO Panel in Rome

UNPO, 4 February 2010


UNPO — This Friday 5th February, UNPO will be hosting a conference on the topic of non-refoulement of refugees in the Chamber of Deputies in Rome. The conference has been organised as part of the 8th Session of the UNPO Presidency.

In light of recent cases of extraditions that are of particular concern to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), including the cases of refugees who have been forcibly returned to countries where they are likely to face persecution and harsh treatment , a conference on the topic of non-refoulement will take place on 5th February prior to the 8th Session of the UNPO Presidency in Rome.

During the month of December 2009, at least 20 Uyghurs were forcibly returned to China from Cambodia, 14 Khmer-Krom refugees were deported back to Cambodia by the Thai police and the government of Thailand forcibly repatriated over 4,000 Lao Hmong to Laos.  The individuals concerned face significant threats of torture and in some cases the death penalty.

Representatives from UNPO and its members, including the Uyghurs of East Turkestan, the Khmer Krom and the Hmong will be invited to discuss the urgent situation affecting individuals from their respective regions.  Members of the Nonviolent Radical Party and the delegation of Radical MPs in the Democratic Party Group in the Italian Parliament will speak on international and Italian obligations of non-refoulement. The conference will be chaired by the Hon. Matteo Mecacci, MP, Human Right Rapporteur for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and speakers will include; Mr Jurgen Humburg from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR),  Senator Marco Perduca and Hon. Jean-Leonard Touadi, MP.  UNPO Member representatives, Mr Dolkun Isa, General Secretary of the World Uyghur Congress Mr Thach Thach, President of Khmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation, Mr Anthony Lee, Vice president of Congress of World Hmong People  and Mr Kok Ksor, President of the Montagnard Foundation, Inc will also address the issues specific to their regions.

Participants will be invited to address the ways to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees and the enforceability of non-refoulement under international humanitarian law, as well as the role of the UNPO in cases of extradition.  The conference will also consider the relevance of topical issues including stateless persons’ rights and the asylum process.

For the press release click here

For More information, including a list of speakers click here

For a Newsbyte on Non-refoulement click here

For Montagnard Foundation Inc Intervention click here

For Congress of World Hmong People Intervention click here

For Ogaden National Liberation Front Intervention click here

For 2006 UNPO General Assembly Resolution on Tibetan Refugees click here

For Videos on Hmong refugees click on the headings below

Refugee Persecution  (3 min 42 seconds)

Killings and Abuse of Montagnards (2 minutes)