By Alisa Xiong
Sacramento attorney Herman Franck has filed a federal lawsuit against the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, claiming the Lao government directed policies to terminate the Hmong people for more than 40 years.
During the Vietnam War, the Hmong people were recruited by the United States and giving the name “Secret Army.” The Hmong people and their connection with the U.S. Secret Army lead them to become the target of genocide, the complaint says.
In his complaint, Franck writes: “On May 1975, the following statement was made by the Pathet Laos (Communist Party of Laos) Paper following the signing of the Vietnam Ceasefire Agreement in 1973: ‘The Hmong will be exterminated to their last root…’ The policy became a practice whereby Hmong people were routinely hunted, killed, raped, mutilated, tortured, and poisoning the jungle and their water/food supply.”
A plaintiff, identified in court documents under the fictitious name “Hmong 1,” represents victims of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and people who lost love ones from rape, torture and poisoning of the jungle. Victims were hunted and killed as part of the policy against the Hmong, the lawsuit says.
Hmong 1 and Franck are suing the Lao People’s Democrat republic, Chouammaly Sayasone, president of Laos, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, prime minister of Laos, Dr. Bounkert Sangsomsack, minister of justice of Laos, Lieutenant General Sengnuan Xayalath, minister of defense, Thongbanh Sengaphone, minister of public security, and Lao General Bounchanhi.
The complaint requests class-action status for damages under the Alien Tort Claims Act. A court date has been set for February 3, 2016 at 10:00 am in Sacramento’s U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
An exclusive intrview wth Herman Franck about the case will be air on Hmong Report and Saub Hmoob.