We know Mr. Somphone as being highly committed to the development of the people of the Lao PDR, and he is very respected in the Lao and International development communities. His family has reported him missing to the Ministry of Public Security, but has received no news about his whereabouts.
We are very concerned about Mr. Somphone’s safety, and we urge the Lao authorities to use its resources to locate him and bring him home safely.
We stand ready to support in any way we can.
From a December, 2012 letter from 22 INGOs to the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Lao government has not requested any assistance, nor have there been any further letters or offers of support from CSOs operating in the Lao PDR.
Articles addressing the effects of Sombath’s disappearance on Lao civil society include:
- “Abduction of Sombat Somphone has aid workers ‘terrified’,” South China Morning Post, 02 January 2013.
- “Civil Society in Laos: Gone Missing,” The Economist, 08 January 2013.
- “Laos: Silencing Civil Society,” Fair Observer, 14 February 2014.
- “Laos campaigner’s abduction sends shockwaves through activist community,” The Gaurdian, 14 March 2013.
- “Laos government silent on abduction of rural development campaigner,“ Vancouver Sun, 30 April 2013.
- “Year-long Silence on Sombath Deafening,” Bangkok Post, 14 December 2014.
- “Kidnapping in Laos affects Civil Society,” Eugene Weekly, 17 April 2014.
- “Laos: Crony Scheme in Control of Press and Civil Society,” Index on Censorship, 12 May 2014.
- “Laos NGO restrictions threaten development, say non-profit groups,” South China Morning Post, 17 September 2014.
- “NGOs Say Proposed Guidelines Would Hamstring Civil Society,” Radio Free Asia, 02 October 2014.
Click on the Lao Civil Society tag at the bottom of this page for a listing of these and other related content on this site.