Nearly six months after the disappearance of prominent Lao activist Sombath Somphone, police have reported little progress on his case amid concerns for his safety by fellow activists.
Laos’s Ministry of Public Security said at a briefing on Friday that police were still carrying out investigations to locate Sombath since he was declared missing in December last year, including coordinating with international agencies.
But activists, who have raised concerns that Sombath may have been forcibly disappeared and called for a thorough investigation into his case, said they were disappointed no new developments were revealed.
“We expected some progress, some leads,” a representative from a nongovernmental organization in Thailand said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“We haven’t seen any new developments. It seems that was all they could say.”
Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted by RFA’s Lao Service after the briefing refused to comment on Sombath’s case.
Anti-poverty campaigner Sombath, 61, was last seen in video footage stopping at a police checkpoint in the Laotian capital Vientiane, prompting international concern that his disappearance could be tied to his human rights work.
Lao authorities have denied detaining Sombath and suggested he could have been kidnapped over a personal or business conflict. Continue reading “Lack of Progress on Missing Lao Activist’s Case ‘Troubling’”