Sombath & Quaker Service Laos

Sombath worked closely with Quaker Service Laos (QSL) during the late 1980s and early 1990s. He made significant contributions to their programs, including the Rice Integrated Farming Systems (RIFS) project. While QSL staff wrote a plea to the Lao government soon after Sombath’s abduction, subsequent requests to contribute their thoughts about Sombath and his work have

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Rights Groups Condemn Harsh Prison Sentence Against Lao Worker

VOA: 18 May 2017 Human rights groups have condemned harsh prison sentences and called for the release of three Lao migrant workers who posted critical comments on social media and joined a protest outside the Lao Embassy in Thailand. The workers, Somphone Phimmasone, 30, Soukan Chaithad, 33, and Ms Lodkham Thammavong, were sentenced in early April

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Three government critics jailed for up to 20 years

FIDH: 16 May 2017 The harsh prison sentences handed down to three Lao government critics are a shocking reminder of Vientiane’s intolerance for any form of peaceful dissent, FIDH and its member organization Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) said today. FIDH and LMHR reiterate their call on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release

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“NGOs generally exercised self-censorship…”

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) generally exercised self-censorship, which civil society considered was a direct result of Sombath Somphone’s disappearance. The chilling effect of the disappearance of an internationally respected civil society advocate caused lesser-known local activists to believe they had little hope of avoiding a similar fate if they were too outspoken. From US State Department

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Solidarity Message to Somchai Neelapaijit’s family

Somchai Neelapaijit’s enforced disappearance remains a disheartening reality that we continue to remember. The Sombath Initiative is honored to commemorate his noble efforts in defending the rights of the victims of human rights violations. His endeavors, which challenged the interests and official power of the perpetrators of those violations, in turn made him the victim

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Amnesty International Report 2016/17: Laos

Amnesty International: February 2017 The rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly remained severely restricted. State control of media and civil society was tightened as Laos hosted international meetings. Repression of human rights defenders continued. Two prisoners of conscience were released in March after being held for almost 17 years. There was no

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EU must demand release ofdissidents, resolution of enforced disappearances

FIDH: 13 February 2017 The European Union (EU) must demand the Lao government release all political prisoners and make real progress towards solving all cases of enforced disappearances, FIDH and its member organization Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) said today. FIDH and LMHR made the call ahead of the 7th EU-Laos human rights dialogue, which is scheduled

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Sombath’s response on receiving the Magsaysay Award

Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation: Manila, 31 August 2005 The honorable Chief Justice Hilario Davide, trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, distinguished guests, fellow awardees, ladies and gentlemen, good evening. It is a great honor for me today to be here receiving the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, and I would like to sincerely thank

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