Lao Civil Society

Frozen with Fear

…At the end of 2012 the Lao authorities kidnapped one of the countries most prominent NGO leaders, Sombath Somphone, without a murmur in Laos, and without any sense that they should be accountable. Since then the NGO sector has been frozen with fear. …In a society of hyper-politicization one becomes apolitical, and that includes foreigners

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Kidnapping In Laos Affects Civil Society

The Eugene Weekly: 17 April 2014 By Camilla Mortensen Sombath Somphone is “one of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s most respected civil society figures,” according  to a December 2013 press statement from Secretary of State John Kerry on the one year anniversary of Sombath’s disappearance. Sombath was kidnapped from a police checkpoint in Laos and

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Year-long silence on Sombath deafening

Bangkok Post: 14 December 2013 A year ago, Ng Shui-Meng watched a closed-circuit police video in disbelief as it revealed the moment her husband, the most prominent civil rights advocate in Laos, disappeared. It shows Sombath Somphone being stopped by traffic police on his way home around 6pm on Dec 15, 2012. A man in

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Culture of Silence

First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for me,

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