Third letter from Sombath’s wife

Third Appeal to the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic 

Ng Shui Meng, Wife of Sombath Somphone, 30 January 2013

This is my third appeal to the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to release information or results of investigation of the disappearance of my husband, Sombath Somphone, on the evening of 15 December 2012.

Today is the 45th day since my husband’s disappearance and I have done all I can to cooperate with the police and provided information to assist the investigation and find my husband as quickly as possible.  I have also met with the National Assembly Vice-President and his staff to appeal to the National Assembly, as the representatives of the people, to urge the police to expedite the investigation.  But all these efforts have not yielded any concrete information related to the progress of the investigation, other than statements that “the police are still investigating”.

There are still no answers to my queries regarding:

  1. What did the police manning the police post the evening of Sombath’s disappearance on 15 December 2012 said what happened that night, and what did they see?
  2. Whether the motorcyclist who drove away Sombath’s jeep has been identified?
  3. Has Sombath’s jeep (License plate No.: 2624) been found?
  4. Whether the white truck with flashing lights that stopped at the police post and took my husband away been identified?
  5. Has the driver of the white truck who drove away with my husband been questioned?
  6. If the footages were too blurry, as claimed by the police, has the Ministry of Public Security sought technical assistance from any other government or international security agencies? Are they too blurry for the entire Tha Deua Road CCTV cameras?
  7. Has the Lao police issued an Interpol Yellow Notification to inform colleagues in the region about Sombath’s disappearance and sought their assistance?

To all these questions I have not had any satisfactory answers.

I am certain that the Lao government and the security institutions have all the resources available to find Sombath. Hence, the lack of any concrete and credible information related to Sombath’s disappearance after 45 days of investigation is very difficult to understand. The agony of not knowing anything after 45 days is even more difficult to bear.

Again, I stress, Sombath Somphone is a Lao citizen with rights under the Lao Constitution and the Lao laws.  He has the right to be protected by the State.  If Sombath has committed a crime, he should be charged under the Law and be protected under due processes of the Law.

My husband is also in need of daily medication and regular medical checkup for his medical condition.  Without such medication and regular medical care, his condition may worsen and his health could be severely compromised.

I therefore urge the Lao Government to quickly release information of the investigation, and of Sombath’s whereabouts and wellbeing. If for whatever reasons he is in the custody of the State, please grant me and my family our right of visitation.

Respectfully yours

Ng Shui Meng