In a rare communication from a Vietnamese forcibly returned from Hongkong, VANG A NHI, a member of the Nung minority, reveals the reception he received in his homeland. Now there is concern for the author of this letter - an edited version of which appearsbelow - and Asiawatch is planning to look for him when it visits the country later this year. ON THE morning of August 4, 1992, my family was forced to go to Kai Tak by Hongkong police. We were put on a C- 130 military aircraft, to be taken back to Vietnam. When we arrived at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, Hongkong officials delivered us to the Vietnamese communists. We were transferred by Vietnamese security to a reception centre, where we were searched very harshly. On the night of August 8, 1992, special security at the centre gave each of us two personal history forms. We were very frightened and stayed up all night to finish them. This is the content of the forms: List personal history, address before leaving Vietnam, who are the relatives both in Vietnam and overseas (such as parents, and siblings on both husband's and wife's side). Reason for leaving Vietnam. How did you escape from Vietnam? Who organised the trip? Location of the departure. Who were with you? How many people were there on the boat? Who was the captain? Of those on the same boat with you, who returned with you? Howmany camps have you been in? Specify the time spent at each camp. Which room did you stay in? Who was the head of your room? What did you say during screening sessions? Which lawyer or international organisations? From which countries? Who are the leaders? Who are members of those organisations at the detention centre? During your stay in Hongkong, did you participate in any of the riots? How many times did you participate? What kind of slogans did you shout? What were put on the banners? Who were the leaders? Among the leading group, who were the chief officers? During the riots, was there anyone who took the opposite position? Was the leading group sponsored by an overseas organisation? What are the names of those organisations? Who performed as connections and to what religions/group did they belong? In the detention centre, how many organisations expressed an anti-Vietnamese Government view? The Vietnamese Militarymen Association of your centre has how many members? Who were the leaders? Under what forms would they rebel against Vietnamese communists? How did they communicate with other reactionary groups overseas? Do you know who communicated with foreign journalists? What are the names of their newspapers/magazines and their views? Afterwards, each person had to pledge these words were told truthfully and if they were false, would take complete responsibility under the laws of the Vietnamese Government. With such a personal history as mine, I was certain I would have to face furthercomplications and headaches. I was asked to come to the security department for interrogation. They interrogated me until my head was about to burst. They emphasised my past (anti-communist) activity. I was told: ''If your answers are not clear enough, you will have to write another report. . . We are giving you notice that you shall be detained for several days to 'work' [euphemism for 'to be interrogated': with us. If you are not truthful, even when you return to your local district, you will meet complications and your travel will be restricted. We will let you take a break, and then we will resume our interrogation.'' When I came out, I was discouraged and very fearful. I met a United Nations representative at the reception centre in Hanoi. Her name, I think, is Pen, a French woman. Overwhelmed with self-pity and fear, I burst out crying and recounted my interrogation and the danger to me. She advised me not to worry. About 20,000 people had returned and no one had ever been maltreated. ''We will intervene, don't worry, everything will be smoothly resolved.'' At the same time, I also met Mike Hilton, First Secretary of the British Embassy in Hanoi. He informed me the British Security Department had paid special attention to my case. I told him about my difficult situation. Security was suspicious of me, I said. He answered: ''We know about the situation, but that is a Vietnamese security matter.'' He promised: ''Don't worry. We will work with the higher authority in Vietnam.'' He gave me his card and said: ''When you return to your local district, if you are maltreated, just write to me.'' (I still have not written to him because I am bewildered and worried.) After talking to Mr Hilton, I felt less fearful. I returned to my bedroom, with thoughts racing through my mind. I do not know when I fell asleep. When I woke up, I realised the security officer had asked me to return to ''work''. When I met the interrogator from the security department, he smiled and invited me to sit down, and told me I would no longer be detained for interrogation. He told me to hurry and pack my belongings, as I would return with 44 other people who were heading towards Saigon. As I walked out the door he called me back. He grinned and asked me: ''Why is the UNHCR [the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: paying such special consideration to your case? What did you tell them in Hongkong?'' After three days of travelling from Hanoi to my native village, I had three days of peace. Then the security officer of the province, Dong Nai, requested me to work with the intelligence officer of department PA-15. The interrogation also centred around questions similar to those in Hanoi but were less intensive. Special emphasis was placed on the questions: ''On your return trip, do you know which individual was planted to return to Vietnam? Do you suspect any individuals? Presently in Hongkong, how many more individuals will be planted to go back to Vietnam? Up until now, how many were planted in those repatriation groups?'' The questions repeatedly addressed the issue of people being planted to return to Vietnam to resist the Vietnamese Government. I did not know what to answer. Angrily, I told them: ''There are 60 people, 10 from the north and 50 from the south, returning on August 8, 1992, on a military C-130.'' The officer became angry. He banged the table and shouted: ''Are you crazy? You dare to joke with me? ''I want to let you know that for a long time, your family and you were the subject of our special attention.'' He stood up and walked back and forth for a moment, then returned to his seat, grinned and offered me a cigarette. He said: ''Your interrogation session ends here. I hope that once you return to your local region, you are well behaved and will discharge civic duties. Tomorrow, you come here to get the repatriation certificate so you can get the new family registrationfrom your locality.'' Next day, when my wife went to Dong Nai province to obtain the certificate, she was fined (I do not know for what reason). When we returned to my district and applied for family registration, we faced complications, insults, fines for missing labour (during the time we were in Hongkong), for not having a birth certificate for my child and for not having the original family registration. Various documents were incorrectly filed, not conforming to the law, and so on. Even now, my family has yet to receive documents for temporary residence. We face many miseries, we are penniless and no one lends us any money because people here are very poor. When I was in Hongkong, I had lost my identification card. When I went to the city to apply for a new ID card, they directed me to the village. When I went to the village, they directed me back to the city.