The SOS letters stained with the blood and tears of the refugees, and the protest letters from people of all nations against the forcible repatriation have been conveyed from us through different channels to the many political leaders and influential persons. From the scarce number of rigid official replies, we easily recognized that the lesson of love bestowed by God to the humankind has remained unlearned. We wish the people of the world would drop their stiff preconceptions, so that they could detect the feeble and helpless cries of the suffering ones. Only then, they could offer their sincere love to each other naturally and fearlessly!
Reply Letter From The First Lady Of The United States Of America
THE WHITE HOUSE
Thank you for your thoughtful letter. I appreciate your sharing with me your ideas about an issue that is important you and to many others.
At this time in our nation's history, many of the decisions facing the President are complex and challenging. Your views, and the views of other individuals who take the time to write, are carefully considered when the President makes a policy decision.
Thank you again for writing, I am grateful for your support and for your interest.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Reply Letter From The President Of Austria
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Envoy Dr. Christian STROHAL
(Originally in German) Vienna, May 26th, 1994
In regards to your letter of April 25th to the Federal President, concerning the situation of the Au Lac refugees in Whitehead Detention Camp Hong Kong, I, as the leader of the department for human rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, can inform you of the following:
According to our information there are approximately 15,000 Au Lac people in this refugee camp, who legally have not been granted refugee status already or whose proceedings for asylum, after an appeal against the refusal, have not yet been decided in the 2nd instance.
All those Au Lac people, who have been acknowledged as convention refugees, are already in other camps. In connection with this it should be mentioned that the UNHCR is part of the proceedings of the verification of asylum and watches over their correctness.
Of those Au Lac people, who definitively have not been granted asylum, 28,000 have already returned-with the active co-operation of the UNHCR. To and in agreement with Au Lac - voluntarily from Hong Kong to their own country. As an interim financial help they are at the moment receiving US$360, - per person. There have also been some cases of forced repatriation. However, no case of subsequent repression is known to the UNHCR, which has got in touch with the returned Au Lac people in their country, too.
Within the Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA), designed by the UNHCR in 1989, most western states, among them also Austria, have decided that those Au Lac people, whose applications for asylum have definitely been refused, should be given the possibility to return to their country, where the political and economical conditions have improved considerably.
Resistance against repatriation has evidently organized itself in Whitehead Detention Camp, where, since the beginning of the year, there have been recurrent hunger strikes because of transfers to other camps.
During the riots on April 7th, the police have used tear gas to break any further resistance. Statements concerning injured people diverge strongly. The government has appointed a committee of investigation consisting of two judges, whose report, however, does not yet exist.
Austria is attentively watching the developments and actively participating in the work of the UNHCR in this issue. Many refugees evidently prefer the temporary accommodation in reception camps to a return to Au Lac.
It is essential to solve these still existing social and human problems in cooperation with all people concerned under maintenance of the principles of human rights.
With best greetings,
Mag. Leopold Radauer
Cabinet of the Federal Chancellor
(Originally in German)
Vienna, May 31st, 1994
In regards to your letter of April 25th, 1994 to the Federal President concerning the Au Lac refugees in Whitehead Detention Camp Hong Kong, I inform you of the following:
In this refugee camp there are Au Lac citizens, whose application for granting them the status of refugees has already been rejected or whose proceedings for asylum are still in the 2nd instance.
The UNHCR is a part of these proceedings of the verification of asylum.
A big number of those Au Lac people who have not been granted asylum have already voluntarily returned with the active cooperator of the UNHCR and in agreement with Au Lac. According to the UNHCR no cases of subsequent repression by the Au Lac authorities are known.
Within the Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA), designed by the UNHCR in 1989, most western states, including Austria, have decided to give, if possible, those Au Lac people, whose applications for asylum have been definitely rejected, the opportunity to return to their country.
In spite of the changed political and economical situation in Au Lac, resistance against repatriation has been put up. Therefore Austria is observing the developments with great attention and is participating in the relevant activities of the UNHCR, to solve the still existing humanitary problems under maintenance of the principles of human rights.
With friendly greetings,