Laos : Le Gouvernement exhorté à régler la question des droits fonciers et à protéger les défenseurs des droits

Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme: 18 Juin 2014

FIDH_pinar_selekLe gouvernement lao doit résoudre de manière urgente la question des droits fonciers et protéger les défenseurs des droits fonciers et droits de l’environnement, ont déclaré la FIDH et son organisation membre, le Mouvement Lao des Droits de l’Homme (MLDH).

Les deux organisations ont lancé cet appel dans leurs recommandations adressées au Conseil des droits de l’Homme en vue du deuxième Examen Périodique Universel du Laos, qui doit se tenir en Janvier-Février 2015 à Genève, en Suisse.

« Les graves violations en matière des droits fonciers, la mauvaise gestion du gouvernement laotien et la corruption ont créé une nouvelle classe de pauvres dans les zones rurales. Tant que des lois ne seront pas appliquées correctement, les citoyens laotiens resteront des cibles vulnérables face aux violations des droits fonciers » a indiqué le président de la FIDH, Karim Lahidji. « Il est urgent de mettre en place un cadre juridique cohérent pour l’approbation et la gestion des concessions. Le gouvernement laotien doit réformer la gouvernance des terres afin de garantir une totale transparence et responsabilisation dans le processus de décisions ainsi que la participation des citoyens », a-t-il exhorté. Continue reading “Laos : Le Gouvernement exhorté à régler la question des droits fonciers et à protéger les défenseurs des droits”

Lao PDR: government must tackle enforced disappearance case

International Commission of Jurists: 16 June 2014

icj_logoThe ICJ today called on the Lao PDR government to carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the ‘disappearance’ of prominent development activist Sombath Somphone to clarify his fate or whereabouts.

It also demanded that authorities ensure that the perpetrators are held to account and that he or his family members are afforded redress.

On 15 June 2014, the ICJ filed a submission to the 21st session of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review (UPR), raising Lao PDR’s failure to fulfill its obligations under international law in cases of alleged enforced disappearance.

The ICJ also highlighted Lao PDR’s failure to respect its commitment in its 2010 UPR to “enhance the level of cooperation with treaty bodies and special procedures mandate holders”.

“Despite the passage of more than 18 months since Sombath Somphone’s ‘disappearance,’ the authorities have yet to carry out an effective investigation,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ Asia-Pacific Regional Director. “They have even declined to seek available international assistance with the examination of CCTV footage showing the abduction, which may lead to the identification of the perpetrators.” Continue reading “Lao PDR: government must tackle enforced disappearance case”

HRW condemns Laos government’s gross rights violation

Asia Correspondent: 12 June 2104

Sombath Somphone
Laotian activist Sombath Somphone has been missing since 2012.

The Laos government routinely oppresses citizens, stifles basic human rights, and acts with impunity, Human Rights Watch said in a critique issued this week. The organization blasted the Southeast Asian country’s leaders for restricting “fundamental rights including freedom of speech, association, and assembly.” The critique concerns Laos’ failures to live up to recommendations issued in a 2010 Universal Periodic Review. The country is up for another review in October, and HRW believes the last UPR did not address critical areas, including “enforced disappearances; freedom of speech, association, and assembly; the treatment of detainees in drug detention centers; and labor rights.”

The critique notes the tight control the state exerts over the media, and a culture of self-censorship. News programs that encourage debate and discussion of hot-button rights issues are at risk of being shut down, and activists live with the real threat of harm and kidnapping.

HRW emphasized the country’s policy of enforced disappearance, particularly the high-profile case of Sombath Somphone, an activist who has been missing since 2012. Continue reading “HRW condemns Laos government’s gross rights violation”

Laos: No Progress on Rights

Human Rights Watch: 10 June 2012

Urgently End Disappearances, Systematic Suppression of Basic Freedoms

Sombath Somphone, a social activist, was last seen in Vientiane, the capital, in December 2012. There is strong evidence that he was forcibly disappeared by Laotian authorities.

The government of Laos has failed to address the country’s systemic human rights problems, Human Rights Watch said today in a critique of Lao’s human rights record submitted to the United Nations. Laos will appear for the country’s second Universal Periodic Review in October 2014 at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Human Rights Watch highlighted several human rights issues that deserve international attention, including severe restrictions on fundamental liberties, absence of labor rights, and detention of suspected drug users without charge in abusive drug centers. Of particular concern is the forced disappearance of civil society leader Sombath Somphone, in Vientiane in December 2012 after he was stopped by the police, and of an environmentalist, Sompawn Khantisouk, who has been missing since he was ordered to report to a police station in January 2007.

“The Lao authorities are defying international concerns by ignoring calls to respond to the enforced disappearance of activist Sombath Somphone,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “Concerned governments need to drive home the point that they will not sit complacently by as disappearances and other abuses multiply in Laos.” Continue reading “Laos: No Progress on Rights”