EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 26/02/92
11 June 1992
Please bring this action to the attention of the refugee coordinator in your
Further information on UA 179/92 (ASA 26/01/92, 1 June 1992) - Fear of forcible
LAOS: Huang Guisheng
Huang Guisheng was reportedly returned by the Laotian authorities to the
People's Republic of China on 5 June 1992, despite the fact that he had been
recognized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR), in accordance with its mandate, to be a refugee in need of protection.
This action by the Laotian authorities is in clear contravention of the
internationally-recognized principle of non-refoulement which prohibits states
from forcibly returning any person to a country where they risk serious human
rights violations. This principle is recognized as a customary norm of
international law, binding on all states, whether or not they are party to
the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
Amnesty International is concerned that Huang Guisheng risks being imprisoned
as a prisoner of conscience in China because of his stated past involvement
in dissident political activities. Huang Guisheng was reportedly ill-treated
in detention in China on two occasions in 1990 and 1991. Amnesty International
has expressed concern about his case to the Chinese authorities, asking that
they take steps to ensure that he is not ill-treated and seeking information
about what has happened to him after his return.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/express and airmail
- strongly condemning the action of the Laotian authorities in returning Huang
Guishen to China, in view of the risk that he might face human rights violations
after his return, and that he had been recognized by UNHCR as a refugee in
need of protection;
- forcefully reiterating the Laotian authorities' obligation under
international law not to forcibly return anyone to a country where he or she
risks serious human rights violations.