Sombath, le disparu de Vientiane

Le Monde: 08.03.2013

Par Bruno Philip (Lettre d’Asie)

Depuis bientôt trois mois, Sombath Somphone, 62 ans, personnalité éminente de la société civile du Laos, militant écologiste et de la cause du développement durable, figure mondialement reconnue par ses pairs comme incarnant la voix déterminée des paysans les plus pauvres de son pays, a disparu. Le 15 décembre 2012, il a pris sa voiture et s’est évaporé.

Les dernières images que l’on a peut-être de lui sont celles, floues, de caméras de surveillance filmant un homme qui pourrait être Sombath à un poste de police où il venait de s’arrêter pour montrer ses papiers lors d’un contrôle sur une grande avenue de Vientiane, la capitale du Laos.

Toujours selon les images des caméras, il serait descendu de sa Jeep avant que, quelques minutes plus tard, un homme en civil monte dans sa voiture et démarre. Une dizaine de minutes après, le film montre un autre personnage prenant le volant d’un camion blanc. Un passager – peut-être Sombath – se place alors sur le siège passager et le véhicule démarre.

Les amis du disparu de Vientiane redoutent qu’il s’agisse d’un enlèvement organisé sinon par le pouvoir, tout au moins par des gens proches du pouvoir. Ou par des “éléments incontrôlés” de “services”. A l’appui de cette thèse, les prises de position écologiques de Sombath, activiste pétri de convictions bouddhistes et prompt à critiquer les dérives capitalistes d’un régime “socialiste” : les leaders laotiens sont les héritiers du mouvement Pathet Lao anti-américain et anti-impérialiste qui avait fini par s’emparer du contrôle du pays à la fin de la guerre du Vietnam. Depuis 1975, le Parti populaire révolutionnaire lao (PPRL) s’est maintenu au pouvoir et a évolué “à la chinoise” en un système mêlant ouverture à l’économie de marché et strict contrôle politique.

Mais qui, cependant, aurait eu intérêt à décider de se débarrasser de cette personnalité dont la disparition ne peut que donner à la République démocratique et populaire du Laos une réputation douteuse ? Sombath a tout de même reçu en 2005 l’équivalent asiatique du prix Nobel, le Ramon Magsaysay Award qui récompensa son travail auprès des paysans et le succès de son Centre d’entraînement au développement participatif, une ONG aidant les fermiers au niveau local.

Qui aurait eu intérêt à se lancer dans une telle aventure quelques semaines après la tenue, en novembre, à Vientiane, du sommet Asie Europe (ASEM), pour lequel chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement de nombre de pays européens et asiatiques, François Hollande en tête, avaient fait le déplacement ?

L’événement avait placé pour quelques jours le Laos sous les projecteurs, et fait connaître au monde l’émergence socio-économique modeste mais sûre de ce petit pays enclavé et pauvre en train de secouer sa séculaire torpeur. Fin 2012, le Laos a même intégré l’Organisation mondiale du commerce.

Difficile de trouver des réponses satisfaisantes et précises à la question de savoir qui pourrait être précisément responsable… “Je n’ai aucune idée de ce qui a pu se passer”, nous a confié récemment au téléphone depuis Vientiane l’épouse de Sombath, Ng Shui Meng, une Singapourienne qu’il avait rencontrée dans les années 1970 à Hawaï, où il faisait des études de sciences de l’éducation et d’ingénieur agronome.

Les autorités nient toute implication dans cette disparition. Elles assurent que la police met tout en oeuvre pour retrouver Sombath. Récemment, le quotidien officiel anglophone The Vientiane Times a publié un communiqué émanant du directeur adjoint de la police, le colonel Phengsavanh Thipphavongxay, qui détaille les circonstances de la disparition de Sombath. S’appuyant sur les images des caméras de surveillance, le colonel indique que rien ne permet de “vérifier” si l’un des hommes filmés est bien le disparu. Il réitère aussi la thèse officielle selon laquelle Sombath aurait pu être la victime ou l’objet d’un règlement de comptes personnel.

Avant le sommet de l’ASEM, Sombath Somphone avait présenté un rapport critique du système de développement choisi par les autorités de son pays. Remarquant que le Laos avait expérimenté tour à tour, depuis près de quarante ans, un modèle de type soviétique, avant d’évoluer vers plus de libertés économiques de type capitaliste, il affirmait dans ce rapport : “Ces deux types de modèle ont connu certains succès mais ils ont aussi échoué à satisfaire les attentes d’une majorité de la population laotienne, surtout en termes d’amélioration du bien-être des gens et des conditions de vie des Laotiens des zones rurales, qui forment la majorité de la population.”

A ce propos, Shui Meng, son épouse, avoue rester perplexe : “Je ne peux répondre ni positivement ni négativement à la question de savoir si sa disparition est liée à ses prises de position. Mais j’ai quand même du mal à imaginer qu’elles puissent en être la raison. Ça serait complètement disproportionné ! En plus, il a souvent travaillé en bonne intelligence avec des gens du gouvernement. Certains d’entre eux m’ont même fait parvenir des témoignages de leurs sympathies…”

A Vientiane, on sait que les éléments les plus modernes et les plus ouverts du système semblent bien embarrassés par les mystères de l'”affaire Sombath”. Il reste à espérer que, quelles que soient les raisons de sa disparition et les responsables de son enlèvement présumé, une solution soit trouvée rapidement pour qu’il réintègre dès que possible la communauté des hommes libres.

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Lao Gov't Issues Report on Activist's Disappearance

VIENTIANE, March 4 (Xinhua) — The Lao Ministry of Public Security held a press conference last Friday to provide information on the disappearance and suspected abduction of Lao activist Sombath Somphone in Laos’ capital of Vientiane on December 15, 2012.

At the conference, the Deputy Director-General of the Lao Police Department Phengsavanh Thiphavongxay provided a lengthy briefing on the findings of the committee investigating the case so far.

Broadly speaking, the briefing confirmed that the police had made no further progress in identifying the whereabouts of the missing activist. “Up to this point in time, no individuals or organisations have provided any information about Sombath Somphone and the Jeep.” Thiphavongxay confirmed.

Sombath Somphone was the head of the Participatory Development Training Center (PADETC) who provide training in community-based development. After he failed to return to his home in Vientiane on the night of December 15, 2012, his family contacted the local authorities. Since then, many international groups and governments have expressed concern about the case and the potential for some police or government complicity in his disappearance. Continue reading “Lao Gov't Issues Report on Activist's Disappearance”

Police report on Sombath Somphone's disappearance

Vientiane Times, 2 March 2013

The Ministry of Public Security held a press conference in Vientiane on Friday to report the progress of the police investigations into the disappearance of Mr Sombath Somphone.

They have released a briefing on their efforts to locate Mr Sombath so far, and the following is the full text of the briefing exactly as received by Lao media.

Second briefing on the result of the police investigations to locate the whereabouts of Mr Sombath Somphone.

For the purpose of further information and proper understanding regarding the ongoing investigations into the incident conducted by the police as assigned by the superior authorities to search for Mr Sombath Somphone, on behalf of the Committee in charge of solving the case I, Colonel Dr Phengsavanh Thiphavongxay, Deputy Director-General of the General Police Department, Ministry of Public Security, would like to provide the second briefing on the result of the investigations as follows:

Phengsavanh _ThiphavongxayFollowing the first briefing on the preliminary result of the investigations to locate the whereabouts of Mr Sombath Somphone on 11 January 2013, we, the Committee in charge of solving the case, continued with great attention to investigate and collect information from individuals and organisations concerned according to the duties and functions of the Committee.

1. On 15-16 January 2013, we continued to collect information related to Mr Sombath from his wife, Mrs Ng Shui Ming, his sister, Ms Phetsamay and his niece, Ms Somchit. We learnt from them that Mr Sombath has close relatives in Khammuan province. Therefore, on 24-25 January 2013, the investigating police authorities coordinated with the provincial police authorities of Khammuan province in collecting information from Mr Sombath’s two brothers and two sisters in Nongbuakham village and Santisouk village, Thakhek district, Khammuan province and could obtain some additional information. On 8 February 2012, the investigating police authorities invited Mrs Ng Shui Meng (Mr Sombath’s wife) and Ms Phetsamay (Mr Sombath’s sister) to come to the Committee with a view to evaluating and discussing together with the Committee ways to continue the search for Mr Sombath and at the same time they were informed of the progress of the investigations. Continue reading “Police report on Sombath Somphone's disappearance”

Pressure mounts on Laos over missing activist

The Diplomat/McClatchy-Tribune New Service:  22 February 2013

Laos is facing mounting international pressure over the disappearance of civil-rights worker Sombath Somphone last December. Some have called for Asean to intervene, with high-level diplomatic efforts underway by the United States and Australia.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr raised the issue with his Lao counterpart and Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong during a visit last week, telling them that Sombath had many friends in Australia who admire his work and who are worried about his disappearance.

Carr chose his words carefully, saying he did not want to distress Sombath’s wife, Singaporean Ng Shui Meng, who has campaigned for her husband’s “release”. He said he had gained assurances from the Lao leader that the relevant departments would continue to pursue the issue, and added that Australia would also continue to take an active interest in the case.

Carr was speaking to reporters in Bangkok after his visit, following an appeal by Daniel Baer, deputy assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, to Laos for more information on the missing 62-year-old, who campaigned tirelessly for sustainable development.

Sombath-DiplomatLao officials maintain that Sombath may have been the victim of a personal dispute and say they have no knowledge of his whereabouts. Observers remain sceptical, given that he was last seen in police custody. Further, there is CCTV footage that shows him being taken from a police post by two unknown people after he was pulled over while driving home from work.

“It’s been incredibly frustrating to not have more visibility into the progress of the investigation,” Baer told Agence France-Presse by telephone after talks with the Lao vice foreign minister.

“I was assured that they are investigating – that’s what the vice minister told me – but I made sure that he understood that not having more information is not helpful.”

New York-based Human Rights Watch has also urged Asean to intervene, which is unlikely given the regional grouping’s insistence that it does not interfere in the internal affairs of member countries.

“The Lao government’s long silence about Sombath Somphone’s whereabouts increase our concerns for his safety,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

“The authorities seem more focused on deflecting international criticism than genuinely investigating Sombath’s disappearance,” Adams added in a letter to the Asean rights commission.

Adams is right. Laos is on a borrowing binge, with billions of dollars being invested in the country by Chinese, Thai and Malaysian investors for the construction of roads, dams and power stations. The government hopes these infrastructure projects will lift the dirt-poor communist country out of poverty.

However, the poor human rights record, fanatical grip on freedom of the press and entrenched corruption of the one-party state are images the country has long struggled to dispel. The disappearance of Sombath only adds to the negative perceptions.

Sombath’s disappearance came barely a month after Asean signed off on its rights declaration, after years of debate. While Asean leaders described the declaration as a landmark moment, critics said it was insufficient and actually gives countries the right to ignore rights rather than protect them. The ongoing situation in Laos unfortunately seems to support this view.

Editorial: Asean Must Bring Silence in Sombath Abduction to an End

The Nation: 25 February 2013

Group’s claims to being a people-oriented community are at stake

The disappearance of Sombath Somphone in police custody last December continues to haunt Laos, once considered the “heavenly land” in continental Southeast Asia. With regional and international pressure increasing by the day, it is amazing to watch the old guard in Vientiane playing things out. For decades, Laos has escaped international scrutiny because it is a small and landlocked country without any strategic imperative. However, with the rise of China, Laos has become an important strategic outpost. As such, the country has brought attention to itself.

Laos joined Asean in 1997 without much fanfare. It delayed its membership for two years for fear that it would upset ties with China. Since joining the grouping, it has maintained a low profile all along, fearing controversy. However, with its ongoing mega-dam construction projects, it has been hard for Laos to remain silent on these issues, especially as they relate to the environment and villagers’ relocation. For instance, the construction of Xayaboury Dam has already caused havoc within the communist hierarchy – who are only used to affirmative answers – because of the myriad negative views against the dam.

Now, in a globalised world, Laos has to contemplate which route it wants to pursue. The recent reforms in Myanmar have already shaken the Laotian establishment. Myanmar’s political reforms were progressive in comparison with the pace of reforms in Laos since 1984. The country can no longer hide in obscurity and hope to get away with – if the worst fears of some are realised – the murder of one of its most famous sons.

When Asean was drafting its charter and terms of reference for human rights, the Laotian delegates were the most conservative and persistent in ensuring that the grouping would not move too fast. However, with the dramatic reforms in Myanmar, Asean as a whole has to think hard about how it can reform to provide further dynamics for political and social transformation. Much has been said about economic cooperation.

The time has come for Asean to speak up. Secretary General Le Luong Minh needs to display his leadership. During the weeks since he has assumed the position, he has spoken widely on the South China Sea and regional integration. How can Asean become one community when its leaders continue to turn a blind eye to assaults on the human dignity of their own citizens?

The notion that Asean can be a people-oriented community will be a farce as long as none of the Asean leaders speaks out on human-rights violations.

The disappearance of Sombath reveals the true nature of an archaic, inward-looking group of communist leaders who are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the dynamic changes within the region. Asean must take up the case of Sombath; its credibility is at stake. The Laotian government must be held accountable for his disappearance and can not longer remain mute. In the absence of cooperation from Vientiane, Asean should join hands with the international community to ensure that justice is done in this landlocked country that for too long has been far beyond the watchful eyes of the world.

Asean Urged to Step in over Missing Activist

The Nation: 21 February 2013

Asean and its human rights body were urged to intervene in the disappearance of Lao social activist Sombath Somphone amid the failure of the authorities in Vientiane to trace his whereabouts.

File photo : Sombath

The Lao government’s long silence about Sombath’s whereabouts are increasing our concerns for his safety,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“The authorities seem more focused on deflecting international criticism than genuinely investigating Sombath’s disappearance,” he said

There is strong evidence of the role of Laotian authorities into the disappearance of Sombath, a prominent 60-year-old social activist who received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2005, more than two months ago, Human Rights Watch said.

He was last seen by his wife, Ng Shui Meng, on December 15 as they were driving separately back from his office to their home for dinner. Shiu Meng lost sight of Sombath’s jeep at around 6pm near the police post on Thadeua Road in Vientiane, and he never arrived home.

Security camera footage from the Municipality Police Station, obtained by Shui Meng, shows that Sombath’s jeep was stopped by police at the Thadeua police post at 6:03pm.

Sombath was then taken into the police post.

Later, a motorcyclist stopped at the police post and drove off with Sombath’s jeep, leaving his own motorcycle by the roadside. Another truck with flashing lights then came and stopped at the police post.

Two people got out of the truck took Sombath into the vehicle, and then drove off. “It’s been incredibly frustrating to not have more visibility into the progress of the investigation,” Daniel Baer, deputy assistant secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, told AFP by telephone from Vientiane after talks with the Lao vice foreign minister.

“I was assured that they are investigating – that’s what the vice minister told me – but I made sure that he understood that not having more information is not helpful,” Baer said, expressing disappointment that he was unable to meet any officials from the ministry of public security.

The campaigner won the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership for his work in poverty reduction and sustainable development in a country that remains one of Southeast Asia’s poorest nations.

The secretive one-party communist state – which exerts total control over the media and does not tolerate criticism – has in recent years gradually given local civil society groups more room to operate.

But Sombath’s disappearance has sent jitters through the activist network.

“There’s no question that it’s had a chilling effect,” Baer said.

“For as long as the case remains unresolved and Sombath doesn’t come home to his wife, the international community as well as many people here who know and love him will continue to ask questions,” he added.

Laos: End Silence on ‘Disappeared’ Activist

Press release from Human Rights Watch

(Française)

(Việt)

Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.39.28 AM(Bangkok, February 19, 2013) – Lao authorities have failed to provide information on leading social activist Sombath Somphone since his apparent enforced disappearance in December 2012, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its human rights commission should intervene in the case with the Lao authorities, who have denied detaining Sombath, and who have not reported his fate or location, Human Rights Watch said.

“The Lao government’s long silence about Sombath Somphone’s whereabouts increase our concerns for his safety,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities seem more focused on deflecting international criticism than genuinely investigating Sombath’s disappearance.”

There is strong evidence that Sombath, a prominent 60-year-old social activist who received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2005, was forcibly disappeared by Laotian authorities in Vientiane, the capital, more than two months ago, Human Rights Watch said. He was last seen by his wife, Ng Shui Meng, on December 15 as they were driving separately back from his office to their home for dinner. Shiu Meng lost sight of Sombath’s jeep at around 6 p.m. near the police post on Thadeua Road (KM 3) in Vientiane, and he never arrived home.

Security camera footage from the Municipality Police Station, obtained by Shui  Meng, shows that Sombath’s jeep was stopped by police at the Thadeua police post at 6:03 p.m. Sombath was then taken into the police post. Later, a motorcyclist stopped at the police post and drove off with Sombath’s jeep, leaving his own motorcycle by the roadside. Another truck with flashing lights then came and stopped at the police post. Two people got out of the truck, took Sombath into the vehicle, and then drove off.

On December 19, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement confirming the incidents as recorded on the security camera, but claimed he was kidnapped for personal or business reasons. Lao authorities have told Sombath’s family, foreign diplomats, United Nations agencies, and civil society groups across Asia that they have been investigating the case. But to date, they have provided no information on Sombath’s whereabouts, his fate, or who was responsible for his enforced disappearance, Human Rights Watch said.

“Lao authorities have not answered the simplest questions about this case, such as why, if Sombath was kidnapped, did the police at the scene do nothing to protect him,” Adams said. “The absence of any real investigation points to the government’s responsibility.”

Enforced disappearances are defined under international law as the arrest or detention of a person by state officials or their agents followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty, or to reveal the fate or whereabouts of the person.

Enforced disappearances violate or threaten to violate a range of fundamental human rights protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Laos is a party, including prohibitions against arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and extrajudicial execution.

Laos is one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance in September 2008. As a signatory, Laos is obligated under international law to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty.

Members of ASEAN, to which Laos belongs, should publicly raise their concerns about Sombath’s enforced disappearance, Human Rights Watch said. On February 19, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to the commissioners of the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), calling for them to investigate the case. AICHR’s Terms of Reference provides the commission the right “to obtain information from ASEAN Member States on the promotion and protection of human rights.”

“Sombath’s disappearance is a major test for ASEAN and its human rights commission,” Adams said. “ASEAN’s silence in Sombath’s case reflects a deeply rooted lack of credibility in protecting the basic rights of people in Southeast Asia.”

The latest letter from Human Rights Watch to the Lao Government can be downloaded here.

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Laos, please visit: http://www.hrw.org/en/asia/laos

US Presses Laos over Missing Activist

Agence France-Presse, February 19, 2013

A US rights envoy on Monday appealed to Laos for more information on a prominent activist missing for two months, saying the case was having a “chilling effect” on civil society groups.

Sombath Somphone, the 62-year-old founder of a non-governmental organisation campaigning for sustainable development, disappeared in Vientiane while driving home on December 15.

Sombath08 - people get into back door of JeepCCTV images showed him being taken away from a police post by two unidentified individuals.

“It’s been incredibly frustrating to not have more visibility into the progress of the investigation,” Daniel Baer, deputy assistant secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, told AFP by telephone from Vientiane after talks with the Lao vice foreign minister.

“I was assured that they are investigating — that’s what the vice minister told me — but I made sure that he understood that not having more information is not helpful,” Baer said, expressing disappointment that he was unable to meet any officials from the ministry of public security.

The Lao authorities have previously suggested Sombath might have been abducted over a personal dispute but said they had no information about his whereabouts.

The campaigner won the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership for his work in poverty reduction and sustainable development in a country that remains one of Southeast Asia’s poorest nations.

The secretive one-party communist state — which exerts total control over the media and does not tolerate criticism — has in recent years gradually given local civil society groups more room to operate.

But Sombath’s disappearance has sent jitters through the activist network.

“There’s no question that it’s had a chilling effect,” Baer said.

“For as long as the case remains unresolved and Sombath doesn’t come home to his wife, the international community as well as many people here who know and love him will continue to ask questions,” he added.

Australian Foreign Minister expresses concern

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr today held talks with Deputy Prime Minister and
Foreign Minister Dr Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos, in Vientiane.  After the meeting, Bob Carr confirmed via Twitter that he had expressed concern about the case of Sombath Somphone during his meeting.

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 12.02.09 PM

 

84 concerned parties

Please-return-SombathFebruary 13, 2013

Minister of The Prime Minister’s Office
President of The National Assembly
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Public Security
Vientiane, Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic

CC:

ASEAN Secretary General
ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights
EU Subcommittee on Human Rights

Re:       Status of investigation into the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone

Dear Madams and Sirs:

We write to you once again with deepening urgency. It has now been almost two months since Mr. Sombath Somphone, founder and former Director of PADETC, was abducted from in front of a police post in Vientiane. Since that time, the Lao Government has claimed that authorities are seriously investigating the matter to arrive at the truth.

We note with great regret that to date, the Lao Government has provided virtually no meaningful updates about the investigation. On the contrary, reports from Vientiane indicate that false and slanderous rumours are being spread about why Mr. Sombath may have disappeared. Sombath Somphone is deeply respected both nationally and internationally for his integrity, honesty and service to his country. Suggestions of personal or business conflicts should be substantiated with credible evidence, or retracted and rejected. Such minimal standards of legal process are surely Mr Sombath’s due as a Lao citizen.

Mr. Sombath’s abduction and the lack of progress of the official investigation has received tremendous international attention and is tarnishing the reputation of the Lao PDR, placing the country’s international profile in serious jeopardy. As noted by the Lao Ambassador in Geneva, the Lao PDR is State party to seven core UN Human Rights Conventions and two Optional Protocols, and signatory to the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. A résolution adopted by the European Parliament on February 7 calls on Lao Authorities to “undertake prompt, transparent and thorough investigations, in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law, and to ensure the immediate and safe return of Sombath Somphone to his family;”

We once again urge the Lao Government to act in good faith, expedite its investigation into Mr. Sombath’s abduction, and provide his family with meaningful updates on the progress of the investigation.

Swift actions by the Lao Government on this matter and the safe return of Mr. Sombath will surely bring credit to the country.

Respectfully,

  1. Alec Bamford, Thailand
  2. All India Forum of Forest Movements, India
  3. AKSI, Indonesia
  4. Andrew Bartlett, United Kingdom
  5. Andrew Nette, Australia
  6. Angela Savage, Australia
  7. Anne-Sophie Gindroz, Indonesia
  8. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Thailand
  9. Bank Information Centre, USA
  10. Bert Cacayan, Terres des homes Germany, Philippines
  11. Brett M. Ballard, USA
  12. Brian Angelo Lim, Singapore
  13. Bruce Shoemaker, USA
  14. Carl Middleton, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
  15. Centre for Civil Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  16. Centre for Environmental Justice/Friends of the Earth, Sri Lanka
  17. Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia
  18. Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA), Iran
  19. Chanida Bamford, Thailand
  20. Chris Greacen, USA
  21. Chris Lang, Indonesia
  22. Cheng Shuling, China
  23. Dani Setiawan, Anti Debt Coalition (KAU), Indonesia
  24. Don Macleod, United Kingdom
  25. Ellen Agger, Canada
  26. Emma Glesen, New Zealand
  27. Femy Pinto, Philippines
  28. FIAN International, Germany
  29. Finnish NGO Platform KEPA, Finland
  30. Focus on the Global South, Thailand, India and Philippines
  31. Forest Peoples Programme, United Kingdom
  32. Fresh Eyes–People to People Travel, United Kingdom
  33. Gary Lee, Australia
  34. Global Witness, United Kingdom
  35. Grainne Ryder, Canada
  36. Herman Kumara Wijethunge, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) Sri Lanka
  37. Hozue Hatae, Friends of the Earth Japan, Japan
  38. International Accountability Project, USA
  39. International Rivers, USA
  40. Jacquelyn Chagnon, USA
  41. Jenina Joy Chavez, Philippines
  42. Jeremy Ironside, New Zealand
  43. Jim Enright, Mangrove Action Project, Asia Regional Office, Thailand
  44. Joan Carling, Secretary General, Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, Thailand
  45. Jon Ungphakorn, Thailand
  46. Jubilee South-Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt & Development, Philippines
  47. Karen Janigan, Canada
  48. Karin Downs, Mass. Dept. of Public Health, USA
  49. Keith Barney, Australian National University, Australia
  50. Ken Kampe, USA
  51. Kevin Kamp, USA
  52. Kenji Fukuda, Representative Director, Mekong Watch, Japan
  53. La Via Campesina, South Asia, India
  54. Lam Thi Thu Suu, Vietnam Rivers Network (VRN), Vietnam
  55. Laofang Bundidterdsakul, Lawyer, Thailand
  56. Lisa ter Woort, Canada
  57. Margie Law, Mekong Monitor, Australia
  58. Martin Lemenager, France
  59. Migrant Forum in Asia, Philippines
  60. Mueda Nawanat, Thailand
  61. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, Pakistan
  62. Peta Colebatch, Australia
  63. Peter Swift, USA
  64. Philip Hirsch, University of Sydney, Australia
  65. Pierre-Marc Blanchet, France
  66. Pieter Jansen, Both ENDS, Netherlands
  67. Randall Arnst, USA
  68. Randall Ireson, USA
  69. Rebeca Leonard, United Kingdom
  70. Re:Common, Italy
  71. Roger Henke, Netherlands
  72. Roger Rumpf, USA
  73. Rural Poor Institute for Land & Human Rights Services (RIGHTS), Inc., Philippines
  74. Sabrina Kathleen, USA
  75. Samuel Martin, France
  76. Theresa Wong, Singapore
  77. Tipakson Manpati, Thailand
  78. The Cornerhouse, United Kingdom
  79. The Peoples’ Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA), Indonesia
  80. Towards Ecological Recovery & Regional Alliance (TERRA), Thailand
  81. Transnational Institute, Netherlands
  82. Walden Bello, Philippines
  83. Water Initiatives Odisha, India
  84. World Rainforest Movement, Uruguay