Pertemuan ASEAN Harus Mengangkat Kasus Hilangnya Pemimpin Sombath Somphone, Penyangkalan Terhadap Kebebasan
BANGKOK, 31 Agustus 2016 – Pada malam pertemuan tahunan pimpinan negara ASEAN di Vientiane, kelompok-kelompok advokasi dan HAM memberikan seruan kepada Pemerintah Laos untuk menangani kasus pelanggaran HAM yang meluas di negara Laos, termasuk kasus penghilangan paksa dan penahanan yang sewenang-wenang. Para pemimpin negara yang hadir memiliki kesempatan unik untuk mengangkat kepedulian mereka terhadap pelanggaran HAM selama pertemuan tersebut di Vientiane dari tanggal 6 sampai 8 September. Mereka harus menekan pemerintah Laos untuk menghentikan pelanggaran HAM yang secara konsisten telah meletakkan Laos pada posisi terendah dalam indeks HAM dan pembangunan yang diukur berdasarkan hak asasi warga negara, kebebasan pres, demokrasi, kebebasan beragama, dan transparansi ekonomi.
Pada konferensi pers yang diadakan oleh The Sombath Initiative di Foreign Correspondents Club, Bangkok, Thailand, kelompok-kelompok tersebut mempublikasikan satu set dokumen terkait dengan penghilangan paksa pemimpin masyarakat sipil, Sombath Somphone, pembatasan demokrasi dan HAM oleh pemerintah Laos, kurangnya kebebasan berpendapat, kegagalan pemerintah dalam menjalankan kewajiban HAM, dan dampaknya pada bantuan dan investasi asing.
. Continue reading “Menyelesaikan Permasalahan Pelanggaran HAM di Laos”
ASEAN Meeting Should Highlight Disappeared Leader Sombath Somphone, Denial of Liberties
(Bangkok, August 31, 2016) – On the eve of the annual ASEAN leaders summit in Vientiane, human rights and advocacy groups called upon the Lao PDR Government to commit to address its widespread violations of human rights, including instances of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention. Visiting world leaders have a unique opportunity to publicly raise human rights concerns during the ASEAN summit in Vientiane from September 6-8. They should press the Lao government to cease the abuses that have consistently placed Laos at the bottom of rig hts and development indexes measuring rights, press freedom, democracy, religious freedom, and economic transparency.
At the press conference organized today by The Sombath Initiative at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand in Bangkok, the groups released briefing papers on forcibly disappeared civil society leader Sombath Somphone, Laos’ restrictions on democracy and human rights, lack freedom of expression, failure to meet human rights obligations, and impacts of foreign aid and investment. Continue reading “Tackle Human Rights Abuses in Laos”
An economy is often defined as “the wealth and resources of a country or region”. Few would contest that the greatest wealth and most fundamental resource for humanity is the earth on which we live; yet most do not see our environment as an economy in itself. Conversely, nearly all contemporary economic and development models see the natural economy as a resource to be exploited (or at best managed) to serve the needs of the monetized economy.
While this perspective is certainly predominant, it is neither intrinsic nor universal. It is also increasingly proving to be unsustainable.
Focus on the Global South and The Sombath Initiative, in cooperation with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, held the Sombath Symposium on February 15-17, 2016, to present and discuss knowledge and practice drawn from different cultures and traditions that can serve as an alternative foundation to the predominant growth-driven development model.
This publication, “Humanity and Nature: Traditional, Cultural and Alternative Perspectives”, compiles essays discussing these perspectives, as well as syntheses of the different parts of the symposium. The Sombath Initiative and Focus on the Global South hope that this publication will serve as resource material, as well as a guide document for the ongoing and future work on alternative perspectives on humanity’s relationship with nature.
Rights groups have asked Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to raise concerns about disappeared Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone at an upcoming regional summit, saying Tokyo and other international donors should push for an independent probe if Laos continues to drag its feet on the case.
Abe should urge his Lao counterpart Thongsing Thammavong, who will visit Tokyo this weekend for the Japan-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, to ensure the government fully investigates the case and provides information about Sombath’s fate, the six international rights groups said in a joint letter Wednesday.
The summit falls on the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Sombath, a prominent anti-poverty campaigner who was last seen being stopped at a police checkpoint in the Lao capital Vientiane on Dec. 15, 2012.
Since then, rights groups have expressed dissatisfaction with the Lao government’s explanation of how he vanished, saying it has failed to fully investigate the case and could be covering up government links to his possible abduction.
The letter by the six groups—Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International Japan, Mekong Watch, Empowerment For All Japan, and two organizations that requested not to be named publicly—asked Abe to “remind” Thongsing that Laos is obligated under international human rights law to prevent and remedy any enforced disappearance. Continue reading “Japan’s PM Urged to Raise Case of Missing Lao NGO Leader”
One Year On, Sombath Somphone Remains Forcibly Disappeared
“On the one-year anniversary of Sombath Somphone’s abduction, Prime Minister Abe should break Japan’s public silence and call upon the Lao government to reveal the truth about Sombath’s fate. Japan’s words carry weight since it is the largest donor to Laos. Prime Minister Abe should use this leverage to send a strong message to the Lao leadership that it needs to stop ignoring the pleas to reveal what happened to Sombath.” Kanae Doi, Japan director
(Tokyo) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan should raise concerns about the enforced disappearance of a prominent civil society leader in the prime minister’s meeting with Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong at the Japan-Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International Japan, Mekong Watch, Empowerment For All Japan, and two other Japanese nongovernmental organizations said today in a joint letter to Prime Minister Abe.
The Japan-ASEAN Summit, scheduled from December 13-15, 2013, falls during the one-year anniversary of the abduction and forcible disappearance of Sombath Somphone, a recipient of the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. Sombath was taken into custody by authorities at a checkpoint outside a police station in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, on December 15, 2012. Continue reading “Japan: Raise Concerns About Abducted Lao Activist”
The Institute of Asian Cultures, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan is hosting a public seminar “What is Politically Enforced Disappearance?: Development and Human Rights Issues in Recent Abduction Cases of Thailand and Lao PDR” on May 25. The case of Sombath will be presented alongside that of Somchai Neelepaijit in Thailand. Details are available at the Sophia University Website or in this flyer.
A press release from Mekong Watch on this seminar can be seen here.