Story and text by Athena Tacet, Images @ Radu Diaconu
Thailand, Bangkok - Far away from the sprawling skyscrapers at the heart of Bangkok's megalopolis lives a small community of 150 Montagnard families.
The Montagnards are the native inhabitants of the Central Highlands, one of Vietnam's mountainous regions that is known for its coffee plantations. Predominantly converts to Protestantism, the Montagnards say they have been facing repression and religious discrimination since Vietnam's communist government took power in 1975. (From AlJazeera)
This is the story of some of the Montagnards who escaped Vietnam as early as January this year and are now living without papers in Bangkok, Thailand. They cannot move or work freely, they have very limited resources to pay for food and rent and they must constantly be on alert as Thai police arrests refugees and puts them in detention centers where they can be held for a very long time if no one comes to pay for their release. After escaping Vietnam, they now have to face another form of persecution that can take much longer to escape: statelessness.
Here are some of their stories.