Vietnam Used Attack Helicopter Gunships to Murder Unarmed Hmong Catholics and Protestant Christians

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The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) reported that the Vietnamese government had employed attack helicopters to massacre unarmed Vietnamese civilians among the estimated 8,500 Viet-Hmong Catholics and Protestant Christians in the Dien Bien province. On May 21, 2010, a squadron of Russian-made MI-24 Hind helicopter gunships was dispatched to carry out a bloodshed against peaceful religious followers who were seeking for human rights and land reforms. The attack helicopters flew barbarous combat sorties against unarmed Hmong villagers who were fleeing into rugged areas in Dien Bien province and across the Vietnam-Lao borders.

In addition to the MI-24, Soviet-era MI-8 helicopters were also employed in attacking villagers. Special units of the Vietnamese People’s Army, including special forces (Dac Cong) with Viet-Hmong translators have been assisting attack helicopters in tracking, arresting, interrogating, and executing of Hmong villagers who fled into the rugged areas.

According to Christy Lee, Executive Director for Hmong Advance, Vietnamese officials with ties to the Vietnamese Ministry of Interior and secret police joined Vietnamese regime’s leaders in declaring that all Hmong protestors were cult members and separatists, a theme that Hanoi’s propaganda machines often claims to justify the merciless killings against Hmong-Vietnamese and Vietnamese Christians who had previously participated in protests in Hanoi to demand for religious freedom and government reforms.

On the Laos side of the border, Vietnam sent special forces advisors along with troops and police to cordon off the border and to attack Hmong who tried to flee across the border. Also according to the CPPA, it appears that the General Staff of Vietnam’s armed forces and the Ministry of Defense, including General Phung Quang Thanh, ordered the huge deployment of lethal MI-24 attack helicopters to slaughter Hmong in the Dien Bien province area. The attack helicopters were ordered to fire machine guns and launch rockets at Hmong who were fleeing in Dien Bien province and across the border into Laos.

Journalists are banned from entering Dien Bien province areas as Vietnam and Lao escalate the massacre of innocent Hmong villagers.

On April 15, 2011, Vietnamese secret police and military advisers coordinated with Laotian special forces to execute 4 Hmong Christian women in Laos’ Xieng Khouang province after seizing their only copy of the Bible. Two of the women were “brutally and repeatedly raped” by government troops before being shot in the head at point blank range by automatic weapons. The women’s husbands and their children were forced to watch the rapes and executions. The fate of the men and the 26 children remains unknown, as they were taken away after being tortured.