Australia

Australia promises continued pressure

At the fourth Australian-Laos Human Rights Dialogue in Canberra on 5 March, Australia further pressed Laos to conclude an urgent and credible investigation into Mr Sombath’s disappearance, emphasising pressure will remain on Laos unless the case is transparently and credibly resolved. Australia also underlined the need for Laos to respond in a considered manner to

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Australia-Laos rights dialogue: More than just rhetoric needed

The Interpreter: 13 March 2015 For many Australians, Laos is a scenic, off-the-beaten path, holiday destination for adventurous travellers. Relatively few know that it’s also a repressive one-party state with a long record of restricting basic rights, and imprisoning or forcibly disappearing critics or citizens who dare to form groups or hold protests without government permission.

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Australian Parliament Calls for Credible Investigation

On 26 March 2014, the Australian Senate approved a motion calling on the Lao Government to: …undertake an immediate and credible investigation of Mr Somphone’s disappearance, and willingly cooperate with the international community, including the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance. The motion was introduced by Senator Christine Milne from Tasmania and

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Why a Missing Lao Activist Should Concern Us All

New Matilda: 11 September 2013 By Kearrin Sims and James Arvanitakis If Australia wants to show leadership within Asia, drawing attention to the disappearance of activist Sombath Somphone is a good place to start, write Kearrin Sims and James Arvanitakis In February 2013, there was much fanfare when Laos became the 158th member of the

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Scholars voice support for missing Lao activist

ABC Radio Australia: 23 July 2013 (Please click link for audio version) (Bahasa Indonesia) More than 40 scholars from Australia’s leading universities have banded together to call on Canberra to take a tougher stand with authorities in Laos over the disappearance of the country’s best known community leader. Presenter: Sen Lam Speaker: Keith Barney, Australian

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Scholars call for Sombath probe

The Age: 22 July 2013   Marika Dobin He was considered Laos’ most famous community leader before his apparent abduction by the side of a busy Vientiane road was caught on film seven months ago. Bootlegged CCTV footage appears to show sustainability activist Sombath Somphone being dragged away by several men when he stopped for what

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Scholars Call on Australian Government

Over 40 scholars and researchers have called on Bob Carr, the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to take stronger action. While acknowledging efforts to date, the letter states “As concerned citizens and engaged scholars…we have seen the limits of a quiet approach, and now appeal to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to

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Pressure mounts on Laos over missing activist

The Diplomat/McClatchy-Tribune New Service:  22 February 2013 Laos is facing mounting international pressure over the disappearance of civil-rights worker Sombath Somphone last December. Some have called for Asean to intervene, with high-level diplomatic efforts underway by the United States and Australia. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr raised the issue with his Lao counterpart and Lao

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