International Commission of Jurists: 11 December 2014
Lao PDR: properly investigate Sombath’s “disappearance”, ICJ report says
Two years after prominent Laotian activist Sombath Somphone was last seen at a police checkpoint, the Laotian government must do more to investigate his suspected enforced disappearance, said the ICJ in a new report released today.
In the report, Missed Opportunities: Recommendations for Investigating the Disappearance of Sombath Somphone, which was co-authored by Michael Taylor QPM, a leading international investigator, the ICJ noted that despite the passage of two years since Sombath Somphone’s apparent enforced disappearance on December 15, 2012, very little information about the progress of investigation has been released to the public or his family.
“The fact that the Lao PDR government’s last report on the progress of the investigation was released over 18 months ago raises serious concerns as to whether the Laotian authorities are in fact carrying out an effective investigation into this case as they are required to do under international law,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.
“It is not enough for the Laotian government simply to assert it is investigating this case. International law obliges Lao PDR authorities to conduct an investigation that is credible and effective, along the lines suggested in ICJ’s report.” Continue reading “Missed Opportunities: Recommendations for Investigating the Disappearance of Sombath Somphone”