Afghan refugee teens dumped in Swedish forest

Apparently human traffickers are to blame for this shocking story.

After more than two weeks in a hidden room in a container and many hardships, five refugee boys were dumped in the forest on Christmas eve.

The five boys were left alone in the forest outside Sävsjö, in south Sweden´s inland. For map click here. It is most likely that human trafficing is behind the case.

The boys were initally lost in the slowy (snowy?) forest but after a while they found their way by following a railway. Now they have been taken cared of by the Church Höglandskyrkan in Sävsjö.

The five boys are between 14 and 18 years old. They come from Afghanistan and they hardly speak any English at all.

More Muslim teens for Sweden—good luck with that!  See just one conflict here involving Swedish teens and Iraqi teens.

Thai government sending thousands of Hmong back to Laos

Cambodia just sent Uighurs back to China and an uncertain fate and now so does Thailand send asylum seekers back to Laos.  Whether it’s for political or economic reasons, bottomline is that being generous to refugees is not a driving force in many nations around the globe these days.

From the New York Times:

BANGKOK — Armed with riot shields and batons, Thai military officers began early on Monday to forcibly return 4,000 Hmong asylum seekers to Laos in a lingering echo of the Vietnam War. 

A government spokesman, Panitan Wattanayagorn, said in a telephone interview that the repatriation had started and would be completed within days.

Members of a mountain tribe that aided the United States in its secret war in Laos, the asylum seekers have said they fear retribution by the Laotian government, which continues to battle a ragged insurgency of several hundred Hmong fighters.

Thailand moved ahead with the repatriation despite complaints from the United States, the United Nations, and human rights and aid groups. It was doing so although it has determined that some asylum seekers were eligible for refugee status, human rights groups said.

“This forced repatriation would place the refugees in serious danger of persecution at the hands of the Lao authorities, who to this day have not forgiven the Hmong for being dedicated allies of the United States during the Vietnam War,” Joel R. Charny, acting president of Refugees International, an advocacy group in Washington, said in a statement.

There is a lot more, read on.

Amnesty International looking for answers from the Chinese

This is an update of the story we posted here eight days ago.

Amnesty International wants to know what happened to 20 Muslim Uighur asylum seekers that Cambodia handed over to China recently.  Good luck with that request, or the request to see them!

Uighur asylum-seekers who were forcibly deported from Cambodia last week after the country refused to release any information.

Cambodia deported back to a group of 20 Muslim Uighurs who the Uighur American Association said some in the group had witnessed security forces killing and beating Uighur demonstrators and they could face persecution, including possible execution, in China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu declined to say where the Uighurs were or whether they had been charged with any crime upon their return to China.

Chinese authorities accused them of being “criminals” over violent protests in July.


Amnesty International has also urged the Chinese government to provide the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with immediate access to the 20 individuals to monitor their well-being.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Asia, Thailand is throwing out the Hmong (here).

Indonesian Christian asylum seekers released from detention in Washington State

I’m assuming these are some of the detained asylum seekers that the Obama Administration has begun releasing (reported here ten days ago).   The three Indonesians are Christians and are fearful of the Muslim majority if they return to Indonesia.  From AP:

EVERETT, Wash. — Three Indonesian immigrants who are fighting deportation because they say their Christian faith would lead to persecution in their native country have been released from a detention center in Washington.

The release of the immigrants is the latest episode in an effort by Christian Indonesian nationals from Western Washington and around the country to stay in the United States, the Everett Herald reported Sunday.

Indonesia, a country of more than 200 million people, has witnessed deadly clashes between Muslims and Christians in recent years. Beheadings, hundreds of deaths and church burnings have all been linked to religious tensions. Indonesia is about 86 percent Muslim.

What makes Westerners think that as the Muslim population increases in the decades ahead that we won’t suffer the same persecution as Christians in Muslim countries face today?

Salt Lake Tribune: great reporting on refugee resettlement

I have remarked about this previously on several occasions, while the mainstream media largely ignores the refugee problems on-going in the United States, the Salt Lake Tribune has done some balanced groundbreaking reporting on the controversial subject.  Here is the latest by reporter Julia Lyon.  Its main focus is on the Burmese refugees that have been the largest group to be resettled in recent years.  Please read the whole article and see the great graphics and a sidebar that includes a bunch of refugee hot spots (some of which we have discussed at RRW).

From New York to Utah, refugees who can’t find a job, don’t have enough food or feel abandoned by caseworkers look for help — in Thailand.

And eight thousand miles away, at all hours, Blooming Night Zan’s phone rings.

Refugees know her as a spitfire advocate for the Burmese, both those who have fled to camps in Thailand and those still living under military rule in their home country.

But over the past two years, as large numbers of Burmese refugees have been resettled to the U.S., a new cause has demanded her time: the unexpected plight of those lucky enough to get to America. 

The frustration she hears is echoing across the country, as criticism of the U.S. refugee resettlement program grows. It’s fueled in part by the arrival of thousands of articulate Iraqis who often speak English. Many are highly educated, accustomed to a middle-class lifestyle — but stunned to find themselves unemployed, receiving only brief assistance and facing poverty in America.

Critics, including us, say that the refugee program is overloaded and leaves refugees in the lurch.  The White House apparently agrees and says it goes beyond the recession.  They plan a review soon.  I won’t hold my breath though that they will let certain critics participate.  Any review this White House does will be aimed at just throwing more money at the refugee contractors!

Some critics say the recession has exposed flaws that already existed. Volunteers from Utah, Texas, Kentucky and elsewhere say they discover refugee families who don’t have enough food or coats or towels. Children in New Jersey have waited months to start school because no one has arranged for immunizations.


 “We have received growing numbers of reports about the challenges refugees are facing after arrival in the U.S.,” a White House official said. “This is partly due to the economic downturn, but it also has to do with the fact the U.S. refugee resettlement process, especially on the domestic side, has not been reviewed in many, many years.”

 [Editor:  When a law must be reauthorized by Congress and the Refugee Act of 1980 is way overdue, hearings are held and all the dirty linen is exposed, or should be.  I believe everyone in the refugee industry has feared opening that can of worms in Congress so a review of the program is long overdue!]

Here is one reason I believe the “review” will be less than honest—the refugee revolving door! 

Eskinder Negash was previously a big muckety muck at the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) largely responsible for the mess in Bowling Green, KY (see also the story in the Salt Lake Tribune sidebar). USCRI has had several of its subcontractors investigated or closed by the US State Department during his tenure there!   Now he heads the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement!  We told you about Negash here.

But the new head of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, Ethiopian refugee Eskinder Negash, points to the program’s overall achievement: resettling more than 2 million people.

“This is about saving lives,” Negash said. “I’m not saying they’re not struggling, but I’m afraid we can’t just look at it and say the system is abandoning them.”

Shortly after his appointment this summer, he said he had “never met or heard of a refugee going hungry” — a claim volunteers challenge.

Then here is confirmation of what reader Madeleine had been telling us in her guest column here.  Naive refugee agencies are plunking ethnic groups down in the same communities with those who might have been their dire enemies where they came from!  We see it too with dropping the Somalis off in neighborhoods with American blacks (they don’t like each other!).

Caseworkers may share no common language with a family. An interpreter may be paired with a refugee from an opposing ethnic group or tribe. An ethnic Burman and a Karen are from the same country, for example, but speak different languages and have a history of conflict.

“There is a real lack of understanding of context by many resettlement agencies of the people they are serving,” said Veronika Martin, executive director of the Karen American Communities Foundation. “For many Karen, the only experience they have had with a Burman person has been on the other side of a gun.”

Blooming Night Zan asks the question we have been asking on these pages since 2007!

But she has a question for America: “If you don’t want to take responsibility, why did you take this big number?”

In an upcoming post (here it is) I’m going to tell you how the resettlement of the Vietnamese was done and recommend we return to that model—a model that would help the refugees but would not continue to line the pockets of the bureaucrats in the refugee industry!