UPR Recommendations on Sombath

IUN Logon his statement at the Universal Periodic Review for the Lao PDR on January 20th, Mr. Phongsavath Boupha, Chairman for the Lao National Steering Committee on Human Rights, asked for suggestions.

Here they are.

The full report is available here.

5.25. Conclude the process of ratification of the ICCPED shortly, and investigate vigorously all cases of enforced disappearances, including the case of civil society activist, Sombath Somphone, and inform the public transparently about the results of such investigation as far as feasible without endangering the investigation, and bring perpetrators to justice (Germany);

5.94.  Carry out without further delay an independent, credible investigation into the unexplained disappearance of a human rights defender, Mr. Sombath Somphone, which occurred on 15 December 2012 in Vientiane (Luxembourg);

5.95.  Carry out a prompt, independent and impartial investigation aimed at determining the fate or whereabouts of Sombath Somphone (Poland);

5.96.  Undertake a thorough investigation, consistent with international practices and standards, into the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone (Portugal);

5.97.  Intensify the investigation into the disappearance of Mr Sombath and accept external assistance in the investigation and make the results publicly known, and investigate in a transparent and credible manner all cases of enforced disappearances (Sweden);

5.98.  Launch an impartial, efficient and in-depth investigation on the case of Sombath Somphone in accordance with Laos’ international obligations and submit the results of the investigation in a transparent manner (Switzerland);

5.99.  Establish a thorough, transparent and impartial investigation into Sombath Somphone’s disappearance, as recommended by the UN Special Rapporteurs (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);

5.100.  Conduct an urgent and credible police investigation into Mr Sombath’s disappearance and communicate the findings, including to address any suspicions of government involvement in his abduction (Australia);

5.101. Undertake a thorough and credible investigation into the disappearance of Sombath Somphone and other cases of purported enforced disappearances (Canada);

5.151.  Fully implement its international obligations to ensure the protection of human rights defenders and other civil society actors while exercising their human rights, including the freedom of expression, association and assembly, and remove all restrictions in law and practice which infringe on their work. The Government of the Lao DPR should establish without delay, a new, independent commission to undertake an impartial and thorough investigation into the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone (Finland);

Further, the following recommendations made clear reference to Sombath’s disappearance:

5.23. Consider ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and establish an independent commission to carry out impartial investigations in a prompt, impartial and effective manner into the alleged cases of enforced disappearances reported in the country (Italy);

5.26. Ratify the ICCPED and modify the legislation accordingly; conduct independent and in-depth investigations on the cases of disappearances, in order to prosecute the perpetrators (France);

5.27. Ratify the ICPPED and define the crime of enforced disappearances as an offence in view of investigating and punishing such acts of crime (Argentina);

5.102. Conduct a thorough and credible investigation into all and any unresolved cases of disappearances of civil society workers in Lao PDR (New Zealand);

5.156. Take all necessary steps to protect human rights defenders from intimidation, ill-treatment or violence, including enforced disappearances, and to ensure prompt, impartial and thorough investigation of all allegations, including those of enforced disappearances (Ireland);

Finally, while not making specific recommendations regarding Sombath, Slovenia and the Netherlands asked about his disappearance in their advanced questions, and the USA, Belgium, and Singapore also raised questions during their general comments.

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