The pre-session for the Universal Periodic Review of the Lao PDR, organised by UPR-Info, was held on 03 December in Geneva. While the event was attended by 21 representatives from Geneva-based missions, just three organisations gave inputs from the floor.
Among these was the Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’Homme (MLDH) (Lao Movement for Human Rights, or ຂະບວນ ການ ລາວ ເພື່ອ ສິດທິ ມະນຸດ) who addressed; 1) Press freedom, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly; 2) Enforced disappearances, and; 3) Religious freedom.
In regard to enforced disappearances, the MLDH called on states to bring pressure on the Lao PDR to:
- Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Person from Enforced Disappearance without delay followed by a time-bound implementation.
- Amend domestic laws to include specific provisions in line with the ICCPR, the CAT, and the ICPPED and implement them.
- Accept ‘foreign experts’ assistance in examining evidence in the case of Sombath Somphone, including the closed circuit video taken on the night he was taken away in front of police authorities.
- Investigate all cases of enforced disappearances in a transparent manner.
The full statement can be seen here.