Laos’ Global Reputation

The Mystery of Sombath Somphone Still Resonates in Laos

Radio Free Asia: 15 December 2016 The disappearance of Sombath Somphone remains one of the most enduring and heartbreaking mysteries of modern Laos as the abduction of the world-recognized rural development activist at a police checkpoint four years ago remains unsolved. “As the fourth anniversary of Sombath’s disappearance approaches, my heart becomes heavier by the

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Asean summit must address Vientiane’s shortcomings

Bangkok Post: 07 September 2016 As world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, the heads of state of Asean countries, as well as the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, gather in Laos, they should ask their hosts: “Where is Sombath?” My husband, Sombath Somphone, a leading community development advocate, “disappeared” in Laos on Dec 15, 2012. Even

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Three government critics arbitrarily arrested, detained incommunicado

FIDH/LMHR: 06 June 2016 (Paris) Lao authorities must immediately and unconditionally release three individuals who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained incommunicado for criticizing the government, FIDH and its member organization Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) said today. “The government’s systematic repression of all forms of peaceful dissent underscores the immense gap between Vientiane’s

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UN Special Rapporteur Slams Laos

Maina Kiai, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, is sharply critical of the situation facing civil society in the Lao PDR in a forward to the book Au Laos, la Répression Silencieuse by Anne-Sophie Gindroz. Excerpts include: Laos is something of a void on the human rights map

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What is…the Role of the ASEAN Chair?

Introduction The ASEAN Charter provides that all Member States shall take turns in acting as Chair of the ASEAN. The chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States. There were instances in the past, however, when Member States switched turns or did not take a turn

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Few Surprised as Laos Fails to Win U.N. Rights Council Seat

Radio Free Asia: 29 October 2015 Laos failed attempt to win a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council in a secret vote in New York was greeted with relief on Thursday by a leading Lao human rights group, which urged the communist government to adhere to U.N. rights treaties before trying to join

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We need time…

On the missing Case of Mr. Sombath Somphone… Today, I would like to reassure that the concerned authorities of the Lao PDR have conducted and are still seriously conducting the investigation and will continue to do so to find out the truth and to bring perpetrators to justice in accordance with the law of the

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‘Absolutely no political will…’

Yesterday marked the first month of Sombath’s disappearance… His wife was asked to go talk to the police as part of the investigation process. She turned up at the police station at 9:00 AM, and the questions they had for her, after one month of the investigation was, ‘When did you get married to Sombath?

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Facts & Fictions

Since Sombath Somphone’s abduction on December 15, 2012, many inferences have been made, both in public and in private, about why he was taken. Just days after he disappeared, government officials speculated it may have been due to a personal or business conflict. Variations on this theory have been repeated many times, both by diplomats

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