Imagine a man thinking and discussing about development in his country — many people know him, a regular person like you and me.
Imagine he organises civil society meetings which are transparent and non-controversial, open to everyone – including his own government.
Imagine that he is stopped one night ten months ago at a police post and never reappears.
Imagine that the last images of him getting out of his car are caught on closed circuit TV and shown to his family – but that this original footage is never released for analysis.
Imagine European parliamentarians and others in the EU openly and repeatedly calling for this man’s return—but receiving no answer.
Imagine how other human rights activists in his country feel when they see this happening.
And imagine that this country will apply for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in the near future.
The country is Laos, and the man is Sombath Somphone.
Katharine Derderian, Amnesty International EU Foreign Policy Officer. The full statement can be seen here.