While the Lao PDR was not able to host the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum last year, applications for participants from Laos to this year’s event in Manila are open. Criteria include (unofficial English translation): ເປັນພົນລະເມືອງລາວທີ່ມາຈາກອົງການຈັດຕັ້ງຕ່າງໆ, ສະມາຄົມ ແລະ ມຸນນິທິ ທີ່ມີຄວາມສົນໃຈກ່ຽວກັບວຽກງານພາກປະຊາຊົນອາຊຽນ. Lao citizen from various organisations (associations and foundations) with an interest in ASEAN civil society work.... continue reading.
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... continue reading.
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... continue reading.
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... continue reading.
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... continue reading.
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... continue reading.
Event marking 13 years since the disappearance of Somchai Neelapaijit. The Somchai Neelapaijit Award will also be announced. 11 March 2017: 9:00 AM to 12:45 PM Pri Banomyong Institute, Thonglor, Bangkok, Thailand... continue reading.
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... continue reading.
My dearest Sombath, Today, February 17, is your birthday. If you have not been disappeared, we should be celebrating your 65th birthday today, and you should be enjoying this day surrounded by your family and friends. Even though I don’t know where you are, I still want to send you all my love and prayers... continue reading.
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... continue reading.