…has not yet shared the European Parliament Resolution on Laos, either on their Facebook page or website.
If this is simply an oversight, it should be rectified as quickly as possible.
The European Parliament:
Strongly condemns the prison sentences against Somphone Phimmasone, Soukane Chaithad and Lod Thammavong, and calls for their immediate release;
Notes with concern that these verdicts add to a list of arrests and forced disappearances of activists and protesters who have expressed critical views on issues ranging from land disputes to allegations of corruption and abuse of power;
Reiterates its call on the Government of Laos to stop the harassment and arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights defenders, independent journalists and social activists, and to respect the rights of free expression and association and the rights of minorities; reminds Laos of its international obligations under the human rights treaties it has ratified;
Urges the Laotian Government to respect its international commitments and protect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance which Laos signed in 2008;
Is gravely concerned at the widespread human rights abuses, including enforced disappearances and absence of fair trial; calls on the Lao authorities to meet their international human rights obligations by immediately accounting for the whereabouts of at least 10 missing individuals, including Sombath Somphone and Sompawn Khantisouk, and providing details of the charges brought and evidence produced against imprisoned activists;
The full resolution can be seen here.
Sombath Somphone STOOD UP for Lao civil society, pioneering the first CSO and co-hosting the first, AND ONLY international civil society event in Laos.
Soon thereafter, he was taken from a POLICE POST just a few hundred metres from Sunday’s CIVIL SOCIETY FAIR in Vientiane.
He has never been seen again.
Sombath STOOD UP for Lao civil society. Please STAND UP for him!
European Parliament: 14 September 2017
The European Parliament,
- having regard to its previous resolutions on Laos,
- having regard to the outcome of the 8th meeting of the European Union-Lao PDR Joint Committee held in Vientiane on 17 February 2017,
- having regard to the statement by the Delegation of the European Union to the Lao PDR made in Vientiane on the World Freedom of the Press Day, 3 May 2017,
- having regard to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998,
- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,
- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,
- having regard to the Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic of 1 December 1997,
- having regard to the ASEAN Charter,
- having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas in March 2017 three Lao workers, Mr Somphone Phimmasone, Mr Soukane Chaithad and Ms Lod Thammavong, were sentenced to prison terms of between 12 and 20 years and the equivalent of tens of thousands of euros in fines for criticising the government on social media in relation to alleged corruption, deforestation, and human rights violations, while working in Thailand; whereas the three also stood accused of participating in an anti-government demonstration outside the Lao Embassy in Thailand in December 2015; (more…)
ICJ: 11 September 2017
The ICJ today delivered an oral statement at the UN Human Rights Council, on the need for criminalisation and other effective measures against enforced disappearances in Asia.
The statement, which was delivered in an interactive dialogue with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, read as follows:
The ICJ echoes the Working Group’s recommendation that States should criminalize all acts of enforced disappearance, including enforced disappearances of migrants, which should be punished by appropriate penalties, taking into account their extreme seriousness. (more…)