Bangkok Post: 15 September 2015
Activist Sombath now missing for 1,000 days
In this file photo, Lao civil rights activist Sombath Somphone and his wife Shui-Meng are pictured during a 2005 holiday in Bali. The 2012 kidnapping of Mr Sombath, the country’s leading civil rights activist, has revealed the one-party communist Laos, one of the five such regimes in the world, as one of Asia’s most repressive societies. AP
One thousand days after civil society leader Sombath Somphone was abducted at a police checkpoint in Vientiane, Lao authorities say they still have no clues about what may have happened to him.
“It’s been 1,000 days of waiting, 1,000 days of anxiety — and 1,000 days of nothing,” Shui Meng Ng, Mr Sombath’s wife, told a panel held to mark the milestone.
Mr Sombath, a renowned community activist, was last seen on Dec 15, 2012, when he was stopped at a police checkpoint in Laos’ capital city. While his apparent abduction was caught on CCTV camera footage, the probe into the case has stalled.
The video footage shows Mr Sombath being stopped at the police checkpoint and several men forcing him into another vehicle and driving away.
Four days after the activist went missing, a statement from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged Mr Sombath was stopped at the checkpoint and his jeep was later driven away by another individual. Continue reading