A little over a week ago 19 men, women and children from a Laotian hill tribe, refugees from the fighting there, tried to cross into Laos.
GV Quang Tri street scenes (2 shots)
GV Entrance to Dong Ha camp
SV Guard behind barbed wire
GV & LV Huts behind barbed wire (2 shots)
SV Refugee woman walking behind fence
MV Refugees in camp (4 shots)
GV Hut behind wire fence
SV Refugees sitting on floor
CU Rice bowl
MV & CV Refugees with children (8 shots)
Initials VS/148 SGM/0231
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Background: A little over a week ago 19 men, women and children from a Laotian hill tribe, refugees from the fighting there, tried to cross into Laos. Only the intervention of an American officer and an American television reporting team saved them from being turned back.
The television reporting team, from the National Broadcasting Corporation, kept track of these refugees from war. This is their report.
The refugees were housed, first at Quang Tri then moved to nearby Dong Ha and placed in custody. Vietnamese officers and their American advisers refused to say where they were being held or what was being done with them. But an N.B.C. news team found them, slipped under the barbed wire of their compound and filmed them while the guard were asleep. The compound is reserved for detainees suspected of working with, or having knowledge about the North Vietnamese. Most of the refugees were crammed into one small building. There were no tables or chairs or beds. There was a small pot of rice, filled once a day, and shared by all. There was no water. The refugees didn't know why they were there or what would happen to them. Only the South Vietnamese corps commander could free them and he was involved with the Laos operation. Until he lets them go the refugees will stay in this compound with little food and water, endless rounds of questioning, and their hope in a new future slowly dying.