Introduction In 2007, Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) adopted the ASEAN Charter. Article 14 of the Charter provided that ASEAN shall establish a “human rights body”. In July 2009, the ASEAN Foreign Minister Meeting adopted the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). During... continue reading.
States and non-state actors continue to commit violations with impunity, including police brutality, torture and enforced disappearances, against civil society activists. For example, the lack of immediate and transparent investigation into the case of Sombath Somphone by ASEAN governments, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), or any other human rights mechanisms in the region.... continue reading.
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights: 22 January 2015 We would also seek to draw your attention to the dangers facing human rights defenders and civil society actors all across Southeast Asia, highlighted by the enforced disappearance of Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone in December 2012, and the subsequent failure of the Lao PDR to properly... continue reading.
The Diplomat: 16 December 2014 Call issued on anniversary of disappearance of Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone By Prashanth Parameswaran ASEAN member states should abandon their principle of not interfering in each other’s internal affairs and confront Laos on rights abuses in the country as responsible members of the international community, a group of leading regional... continue reading.
Al Jazeera: 12 December 2014 Many suspect it was Sombath Somphone’s work empowering communities across Laos that led to his enforced disappearance. Rupert Abbott In August 2005, in front of an audience in Manila, Lao development worker Sombath Somphone received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership. Known as Asia’s Nobel Prize, it showed that... continue reading.
The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) calls on the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) to ACT NOW against increasing human rights violations in the region. In Lao, the government remains calloused to calls from the international community to surface Sombath Somphone, a 2005 Ramon Magsaysay awardee for Community Leadership who disappeared on... continue reading.
The Nation: 28 April 2014 Kavi Chongkittavorn The fate of Laotian civil society activist Sombath Somphone will serve as a test case on whether the dictum of a people-oriented Asean community, expounded recently by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, or people-centred community advocated by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, is genuine and sincere. Since December... continue reading.
Asian Parliamentarians for Human Rights: 18 April 2014 BANGKOK – ASEAN Parliamentarians today praised Singapore for its consistent efforts to urge the Lao government to expedite its inquiry into the disappearance of civil society actor Sombath Somphone and urged other ASEAN nations to take a firm, united stand against the shortcomings of the Lao authorities’... continue reading.
The enforced disappearances of Sombath Somphone, Jonas Burgos and Somchai and dozens of Southeast Asian activists highlight ASEAN’s insincerity in protecting the human rights of its peoples. Its failure to meaningfully respond to these cases is immoral and unjust, especially to the families of the victims. For the nth time, we strongly urge ASEAN to... continue reading.
Jakarta Post: 04 March 2014 Emerlynne Gil, Bangkok When the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) meets in Jakarta this week, its urgent priority must be improving how it communicates and engages with civil society in Southeast Asia and responds to human rights issues. ASEAN civil society, representing more than 500 million people from... continue reading.