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The Prisons of Laos

  • An article in the "Insight on the News" (Jan 16, 1995 v11 n3 p18(3)) makes reference to prisoners being removed from Attopeu Province in Laos.

Prior to going any further, I would suggest opening the Prison Markings Map and the legend; both of which will open in separate windows.  I would also suggest printing out the legend (it's condensed) and than closing that window.

Please keep in mind that the plots on the Prison Markings map are not exact and are approximated by using several other maps; they should come reasonably close and do offer a very interesting perspective.  

In viewing the map, you can see an almost obvious trail that could have been used (or is still being used) for transferring prisoners; all appear to lead to and from Hanoi, which may be a staging area of sorts.  Furthermore, if you look closely, you will notice that a line of prisons runs north-south/south-north more or less -- and follows closely with a railroad system...which eventually finds itself crossing the border of China.

In keeping with the philosophy of the "Quang 1205" document, I would like to suggest the following:  Prisoners who were captured in the southern regions of Vietnam were transferred up to Hanoi through the prison systems in Vinh Quang (19), Thanh Hoa (14), Tan Lap (10), and Chom Lai (7).  Prisoners taken in the north were transferred to Hanoi through Coc Mi (8), Dong Vai (15), Yen Bai (12), and so on.  Prisoners captured in Laos and the western regions of Vietnam were most likely taken through Quyet Tien (11) and other unknown prisons.  

The prisoners were probably interegated at each stop during the trip north -- leaving only those who were 'interesting' to complete the entire journey to Hanoi; those that didn't appear to have any higher-than-expected value would remain in place.  In other words, the process for categorically weeding out "progressives, neutrals, and reactionaries" began almost immediately following capture and was re-evaluated at each stop.

Once in Hanoi, a final determination was made (although not permanent I'm sure) and the prisoners were farmed out to the secret prison system and/or made their way into china via the northern route (possibly by train?).


Map of Attopeu Province
Map of the prisons
Prison Markings

Laos1.gif (117185 bytes)
Legend for Prison Markings Image


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