Fourteen people arrived at Donmuang airport in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday (30 october) after being released from seven months imprisonment in Vietnam.
Fourteen people arrived at Donmuang airport in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday (30 october) after being released from seven months imprisonment in Vietnam. They were met by a group of excited friends, relatives and newsmen.
The group was handed over by South Vietnam authorities to United Nations officials in Hanoi earlier in the day and stopped over in the airport on their way home.
When South Vietnam fell earlier this year they had been unable to leave the country and since then they have been sent to one prison camp after another. All appeared cheerful and in good health.
The group comprised nine Americans, two Canadians and two Filipinos. Most of them were missionaries. Four were women and there was also a child in the group.
One of the Americans, Paul Allen Struharik, 35, is a U.S. aid official. Another of the group was Edward Peter Whitlock of Perth in Australia who is a programme official with the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
When Mr. Whitlock disappeared earlier this year and his whereabouts could not be traced there were grave fears for his safety.
Accompanying the group were Mr. Alexander Casella, a special envoy of the Un High Commissioner for Refugees, and Mr. Darryle Han, representative of the high Commissioner in Hanoil.
Before flying home to their native countries the group told newsmen about their experiences over the past few months.