Recent refugees from Vietnam claim that the Hanoi government is encouraging a new exodus to Hong Kong and South-East Asian states.
GV & SV Military police squad's jail compound with closed gates and prisoners looking out of upper-storey windows (2 shots)
SV & CU Vietnamese refugees sitting around in compound listening to radios (3 shots)
CU Women sewing whilst other refugees sleep (2 shots)
SV & CU Three Vietnamese Army deserters walking around the compound, two wearing ankle chains (2 shots)
SV Red Cross worker checking medical supplies
CU & LV Doctor examining female patient
CU & LV Queue of patients waiting to see doctor (2 shots)
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Background: Recent refugees from Vietnam claim that the Hanoi government is encouraging a new exodus to Hong Kong and South-East Asian states. This reverses a Vietnamese pledge given at last July's (1979) refugee conference in Geneva, when officials promised to halt the great exodus of so-called Boat-People. But recent arrivals at Thailand's border post of Aranyaprathet say Vietnamese people now choose to travel across Kampuchea, rather then take the gruelling journey across the South China sea.
SYNOPSIS: Some Vietnamese refugees arriving in Aranyaprathet end up at this Military Police Squad jail. All but sixty-six of the 395 people detained here arrived last December (1979), and the authorities say they were detained because they entered Thailand illegally. Among these detainees are former soldiers of the Hanoi regime. They travelled from Saigon to Phnom Penh by bus, then mingled with a crowd of Kampuchea, in their disguise. From Phnom Penh, they walked to the border.
The refugees claim that they paid Vietnamese and Kampuchea officials in gold for the passage. They said police demanded a bribe of up to forty teals of gold per head for the exit. But, for these three Vietnamese Army defectors, their passage out put them in ankle chains. One of the three said they defected from the Vietnamese troops last July (1979). He claimed they were stationed in Battambang, but had not been in any combat. He felt most Vietnamese soldiers just wanted to return home.
One of the most pressing problems for both refugees and authorities remains the lack of medical care. The International Committee of the Red Cross and UNICEF are the leading agencies in the relief effort. On Wednesday (2 January), these agencies announced they were slowing the relief shipments for technical reasons.
And for every day the shipments are delayed, this line of patients will get longer.