UA: 184/16 Index: ASA 26/4603/2016 Laos Date: 3 August 2016
Three Lao activists held incommunicado
Three Lao human rights activists have been arrested on 5 and 22 March in circumstances that may constitute enforced disappearances. They remain in incommunicado detention since they appeared on national television on 25 May in a report that confirmed that they had been arrested for threatening national security through social media postings.
Soukan Chaithad (32), Lodkham Thammavong (30), and Somphone Phimmasone (29) are Lao nationals who had been working in Thailand until February 2016, when they returned to Laos to obtain documentation to continue working there. The three had participated in a peaceful demonstration of around 30 people outside the Lao embassy in Bangkok on 2 December 2015, Lao national day, and had posted a number of messages on Facebook criticising the Laos government for corruption, deforestation and human rights violations. Lodkham Thammavong and Somphone Phimmasone, who are a couple, were arrested at home in Ban Vang Tay Village, Nong Bok District, Khammuan Province on 5 March. Soukan Chaithad was arrested on 22 March, reportedly at the Ministry of Public Security office in Savannaket City, western Laos, where he had gone to renew his passport. The arrests may amount to enforced disappearances, as the whereabouts of the three are being concealed after their arrests. On 25 May, the three appeared on state television wearing prison uniforms, sitting at a table in front of uniformed police and men in plain clothes, in a report that confirmed that they had been arrested for allegedly being a threat to national security through social media postings. During the report, Soukan Chaithad said that he would “change his attitude and stop all activities that betray the nation”. He added that his confession had not been coerced by the authorities. The three still remain in incommunicado detention. It is unclear what offences they are accused of committing, whether they have been charged and where they are detained. Please write immediately in Laotian or your own language: n Calling on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Soukan Chaithad, Lodkham Thammavong and Somphone Phimmasone if they have been arrested solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly; n Urging the authorities to publicly make known the charges against the three, their whereabouts and well-being; n Demanding that the Lao authorities immediately cease the practice of enforced disappearances and ensure access of individuals arrested and charged with recognized criminal offences to their family and lawyers of their choosing, in line with international standards.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 14 SEPTEMBER 2016 TO:
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith
Prime Minister's Office Lane Xang Avenue Vientiane Lao People’s Democratic Republic Fax: + 856 21 213560 Salutation: Your Excellency
Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith
Ministry of Foreign Affairs23 Singha RoadVientiane Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Fax: + 856 21 414009Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Minister of JusticeXaysy SantivongMinistry of JusticeLane Xang AvenueVientianeLao People’s Democratic Republic Fax: + 856 21 414102
Also send copies to:
Ambassador Mai Sayavongs, Embassy of the Laos People's Democratic Republic2222 S St. NW, Washington DC 20008T: 202.332.6416 | F: 202.332.4923 | Email: email@example.com Please let us know if you took action so that we can track our impact! EITHER send a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “UA 184/16” in the subject line, and include in the body of the email the number of letters and/or emails you sent, OR fill out this short online form to let us know how you took action. Thank you for taking action! Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Three Lao activists held incommunicado
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is a one-party state under the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. The rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly are severely restricted in the country. In September 2014, a new Prime Ministerial Decree on management of information through the internet was enacted. Since its enactment at least two people have been arrested in relation to information posted online, one of whom has since been released. The other, Bounthanh Thammavong, is a Polish national of Lao descent who was convicted of criticizing the ruling party on Facebook and other anti-government activities and sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. Laos signed the International Covenant on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances in September 2008 but has not yet ratified it. The most well-known enforced disappearance case in recent years involved Sombath Somphone, who was last seen at a police post in the capital Vientiane in December 2012. The government has acknowledged his disappearance but has failed to ensure a full and independent investigation. Sompawn Khantisouk, an entrepreneur who was active on conservation issues, remains disappeared since being abducted by men believed to be police in 2007.
Name: Soukan Chaithad (m), Lodkham Thammavong (f), Somphone Phimmasone (m)
UA: 184/16 Index: ASA 26/4603/2016 Issue Date: 3 August 2016
The Alliance for Democracy in Laos at
ACSC/APF 2016 – Timor Leste
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ADL and alied organization demonstrates for freedom
in front of the Lao embassy and the Vietnamese residence
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The New Communistic Leadership in Laos
Comments by the ADL
New leaders take up their posts
Laos' new President Bounnhang Vorachit ( left ) and former President Choummaly Sayasone wave during the inaugural session of the National Assembly's 8th Legislature yesterday. -- Photo Khamphan
April 21, 2016
National Assembly's (NA) 8th Legislature began its four-day inaugural
session yesterday with members reelecting Ms Pany Yathotou to a second
term as the Assembly's President and electing Party Secretary General Mr
Bounnhang Vorachit as the head of state.
Pany, who was President of the NA's previous legislature, received
votes from almost all Assembly members present at the session.Referring
to her suitability for the post, members said she was a longstanding
and accomplished female member of the Assembly and possessed the
necessary knowledge, skills and experience to lead the legislative body.
She was also able to make clearcut decisions on the issues submitted
for her consideration.Members
also spoke of their pride that the country could elect a woman from an
ethnic group to one of the Party's highest leadership positions. This
demonstrated that the National Assembly was the highest state body and a
true representative of the people.During
their first session, National Assembly members reelected the vice
president of the Seventh Legislature, Mr Somphanh Phengkhammy. Also
elected as vice presidents were Lieutenant General Sengnuan Sayalath, Dr
Bounpone Bouttanavong, and Ms Sisay Leudethmounsone.Party
Secretary General Mr Bounnhang Vorachit was elected as President of the
Lao PDR, and Permanent Member of the Party Central Committee
Secretariat Mr Phankham Viphavanh was elected Vice President, after they
were nominated by the NA's Standing Committee.Mr
Bounnhang and Mr Phankham have been active participants in the lengthy
revolution process and have years of experience in executive positions.Mr
Bounnhang was a revolutionary activist for many years. He was formerly a
commander in the Lao People's Army, provincial Party Secretary and
Governor, minister, deputy prime minister, and Vice President.The
National Assembly also approved the election of Mr Thongloun Sisoulith
as Prime Minister, and Dr Bounthong Chitmany, Dr Sonexay Siphandone, and
Mr Somdy Duangdy as Deputy Prime Ministers.Mr
Thongloun was previously Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign
Affairs. Dr Bounthong is also Head of the Party and Government
Inspection Authority and the Anti-Corruption Organisation. Mr Somdy is
also the Minister of Finance.In
addition, Mr Khamsane Souvong and Mr Khamphanh Sitthidampha were
reelected as President and Head of Office of the Supreme People's
Prosecutor and President of the Supreme People's Court respectively.The structure of the new government remains unchanged and comprises 18 ministries and three ministry-equivalent bodies.
Ministry heads are as follows:
1. Lieutenant General Chansamone Chanyalath is Minister of National Defence.
2. Major General Somkeo Silavong is Minister of Public Security.
3. Mr Khammanh Sounvileuth is Minister of Home Affairs.
4. Mr Chaleun Yiapaoher is Minister to the Prime Minister's Office.
5. Mr Sommad Pholsena is Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.
6. Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara is Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism.
7. Dr Lien Thikeo is Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
8. Mr Xaysi Santivong is Minister of Justice.
9. Dr Khampheng Saysompheng is Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.
10. Mr Khammeung Phongthady is Minister and Head of the Presidential Office.
11. Dr Khammany Inthirath is Minister of Energy and Mines.
12. Ms Khemmani Pholsena is Minister of Industry and Commerce.
13. Prof. Dr Boviengkham Vongdara is Minister of Science and Technology.
14. Mr Saleumxay Kommasith is Minister of Foreign Affairs.
15. Ms Sengdeuan Lachanthaboun is Minister of Education and Sports.
16. Mr SomphaoPhaysith is Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR.
17. Mr Thansamay Kommasith is Minister of Posts and Telecommunications.
18. Dr Bounchanh Sinthavong is Minister of Public Works and Transport.
19. Dr Phet Phomphiphak is Minister and Head of the Prime Minister's Office.
20. Dr Souphanh Keomixay is Minister of Planning and Investment.
21. Dr Bounkong Sihavong is Minister of Health.
22. Mr Bounkeuth Sangsomsak is Minister to the Prime Minister's Office.
23. Mr Alounkeo Kittikhoun is Minister to the Prime Minister's Office.
24. Dr Souvanpheng Bouphanouvong is Minister to the Prime Minister's Office.
The National Assembly's Eighth Legislature has eight committees and a secretariat.
1. Mr Saithong Keoduangdy is President of the Law Committee.
2. Mr Bounpone Sisoulath is President of the Economics, Technology and Environment Committee.
3. Dr Vilayvong Bouddakham is President of the Finance, Planning and Audit Committee.
4. Dr Somphou Duangsavanh is President of the Cultural-Social Committee.
5. Ms Buaphanh Likaiya is President of the Committee of Ethnicity.6. Dr Buakham Thipphavong is President of the Justice Committee.
7. Khamsouk Vi-inthavong is President of the National Defence and Public Security Committee.8. Prof. Dr Eksavang Vongvichit is President of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
9. Ms Suansavanh Vignaket is Head of the Secretariat.
Les nouveaux dirigeants prennent leurs fonctions21 avril 2016
Le nouveau président du Laos Bounnhang Vorachit (à gauche) et l'ancien président vague Choummaly Sayasone au cours de la session inaugurale du 8ème législature de l'Assemblée nationale hier. - Photo Khamphan
Mme Pany, qui était président de la précédente législature de l'AN, a reçu les votes de presque tous les membres de l'Assemblée présents à la session.
8e législature de l'Assemblée nationale a commencé ses quatre jours
séance inaugurale hier avec les membres réélisant Mme Pany Yathotou pour
un second mandat en tant que Président de l'Assemblée et élire
secrétaire général du parti M. Bounnhang Vorachit que le chef de l'Etat.
Se référant à son
aptitude pour le poste, les membres ont dit qu'elle était une femme
membre de longue date et accompli de l'Assemblée et possédaient les
connaissances nécessaires, les compétences et l'expérience pour diriger
le corps législatif. Elle a également été en mesure de prendre des
décisions sur les coupes à blanc questions soumises à son examen.
membres ont également parlé de leur fierté que le pays pourrait élire
une femme d'un groupe ethnique à l'un des plus hauts dirigeants
positions du Parti. Cela démontre que l'Assemblée nationale était la
plus haute instance de l'Etat et un véritable représentant du peuple.
cours de leur première session, les membres de l'Assemblée nationale
ont réélu le vice-président de la septième législature, M. Somphanh
Phengkhammy. Aussi élus vice-présidents étaient le lieutenant-général
Sengnuan Sayalath, Dr Bounpone Bouttanavong, et Mme Sisay
général du parti M. Bounnhang Vorachit a été élu président de la
République démocratique populaire lao, et membre permanent du Comité
central du Parti Secrétariat M. Phankham Viphavanh a été élu
vice-président, après qu'ils ont été nommés par le Comité permanent de
Bounnhang et M. Phankham ont participé activement au processus de
révolution longue et ont des années d'expérience dans des postes de
Bounnhang était un militant révolutionnaire pour de nombreuses années.
Auparavant, il était un commandant dans l'armée populaire lao,
secrétaire provincial du Parti et gouverneur, ministre, vice-Premier
ministre et vice-président.
nationale a également approuvé l'élection de M. Thongloun Sisoulith en
tant que Premier ministre, et le Dr Bounthong Chitmany, Dr Sonexay
Siphandone, et M. Somdy Duangdy comme vice-premiers ministres.
Thongloun était auparavant vice-premier ministre et ministre des
Affaires étrangères. Dr Bounthong est également chef du Parti et de
l'autorité d'inspection du gouvernement et l'Organisation de lutte
contre la corruption. M. Somdy est également le ministre des Finances.
outre, M. Khamsane Souvong et M. Khamphanh Sitthidampha ont été réélus
en tant que Président et Chef du Bureau du Procureur suprême du peuple
et président de la Cour populaire suprême, respectivement.
La structure du nouveau gouvernement reste inchangé et se compose de 18 ministères et trois organismes ministériels équivalent.
têtes du ministère sont les suivantes:
1. Le lieutenant-général Chansamone Chanyalath est ministre de la Défense nationale.
2. Major général Somkeo Silavong est ministre de la Sécurité publique.
3. M. Khammanh Sounvileuth est ministre de l'Intérieur.
4. M. Chaleun Yiapaoher est ministre au bureau du Premier ministre.
5. M. Sommad Pholsena est ministre des Ressources naturelles et de l'environnement.
6. Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara est ministre de l'Information, de la Culture et du Tourisme.
7. Dr Lien Thikeo est ministre de l'Agriculture et des Forêts.
8. M. Xaysi Santivong est ministre de la Justice.
9. Dr Khampheng Saysompheng est ministre du Travail et des Affaires sociales.
10. M. Khammeung Phongthady est ministre et chef du bureau présidentiel.
11. Dr Khammany Inthirath est ministre de l'Energie et des Mines.
12. Mme Khemmani Pholsena est ministre de l'Industrie et du Commerce.
13. Prof. Dr Boviengkham Vongdara est ministre de la Science et de la technologie.
14. M. Saleumxay Kommasith est ministre des Affaires étrangères.
15. Mme Sengdeuan Lachanthaboun est ministre de l'Éducation et des Sports.
16. M. SomphaoPhaysith est gouverneur de la Banque de la RDP lao.
ADL Demonstration against the Vientnamese occupation of Laos at the US/ASEAN Summit
President Obama is about to host a cavalcade of dictators in Southern California.
Monday and Tuesday, Obama will meet heads of state from the 10 Assn. of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries at the Sunnylands estate in
Rancho Mirage, marking the first U.S.-ASEAN summit to be held on
American soil. Obama will focus on deepening political and economic ties
to the region, primarily to bolster his Trans-Pacific Partnership trade
agreement and form buffers against China’s growing regional clout.
human rights groups have noted that only three participating countries —
Indonesia, the Philippines, and arguably Singapore, a de facto
one-party state — will be represented by elected leaders. They have
raised concerns that the meeting could serve as an endorsement of
Obama knows that human rights are under assault in Southeast Asia; the
question is whether he’s going to say or do something about it,” John
Sifton, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, said in a
statement on Wednesday. “The risk is that the Sunnylands summit will
empower and embolden ASEAN leaders who have been responsible for jailing
journalists, cracking down on peaceful protesters and dismantling
democratic institutions after coups.”
Here’s a list of the authoritarian leaders who will attend:
Hun Sen, Cambodia
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. (Tang Chhin Sothy / AFP/Getty Images)
Sen, 62, has ruled Cambodia for 30 years, making him Asia’s longest
serving ruler. A former commander in the Khmer Rouge — a murderous
regime thay killed nearly a quarter of the country’s population in the
1970s — his security forces have imprisoned critics, executed political
opponents and embarked on systematic campaigns of torture, killing and
land confiscation. He has said he wants to lead till he’s 90.When
Secretary of State John F. Kerry met with Hun Sen in January, he
praised Cambodia’s recent economic growth but also admonished the
Cambodian government on its human rights record, saying that
improvements would be necessary to “to fulfill the potential” of
bilateral relations with the U.S..
Prayuth Chan-ocha, Thailand
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. (Sakchai Lalit / Associated Press)
Prayuth, 61, took power in a military coup in 2014, he has shuttered
outspoken media and detained activists for the slightest acts of
dissent. He has also burnished a reputation as an eccentric strongman,
replete with long, nonsensical televised rants. In the fall, he told an
audience that he once doused himself in holy water to ward off curses
the U.S. still looks to Thailand as an ally, Prayuth has taken a sharp
turn toward Beijing — last year, Bangkok formally handed at least two
Chinese dissident refugees and 100 persecuted Uighur Muslims back to
China, where rights groups say they could face unjust imprisonment and
Najib Razak, Malaysia
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Mohd Rasfan / AFP/Getty Images)
62, Malaysia’s Prime Minister since 2009, passed a controversial new
security law in December that gives him unchecked powers to crack down
on all perceived threats to “socio-political stability,” possibly
including protests. Last summer, he was embroiled in a major financial
scandal after he failed to account for $700 million in his bank account,
raising concerns that he embezzled the money from a state fund.
Hassanal Bolkiah, BruneiSince
1968, Bolkiah, 67, has been the sultan and leader of Brunei, a tiny,
conservative, Sunni Muslim nation on the island of Borneo. As the
absolute monarch of an oil-rich state, he is one of the world’s
wealthiest men, with an estimated net worth of $20 billion (in 2009, he
reportedly spent $21,000 on a haircut).
2014, Bolkiah put the country under sharia criminal law, decreeing that
citizens can be put to death for blasphemy and insulting verses of the
Koran. Adultery and homosexuality are punishable by stoning. This past
December, he banned celebrations of Christmas in public spaces including
city streets and shopping malls, warning that celebrators could face
five years in jail.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei. (JHoang Dinh Nam / AFP/Getty Images)
Thein Sein, Myanmar
Myanmar President Thein Sein. (Nyein Chan Naing / European Pressphoto Agency)
opposition National League for Democracy party, led by Nobel laureate
Aung San Suu Kyi, won a landslide election victory in November. Yet the
summit was planned before her victory, and Thein Sein, an unelected
former military officer who has helped oversee Myanmar’s recent
democratic reforms, will be representing the country at Sunnylands. He
will step down in late March.
Choummaly Sayasone, Laos
Laotian President Choummaly Sayasone. (European Pressphoto Agency)
79, the head of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party — the landlocked
country’s only legal party — presides over one of the world’s most
repressive states. The communist government censors the Internet,
detains activists without due process and strictly censors the media.
Journalists can be sentenced to 15 years in prison for writing critical
recently bought a house with a $615,000 garden, according to a report
by Radio Free Asia, a U.S. government-funded news service. (In 2013, the
country’s per capita income was $1,450). The party replaced Choummaly
as its top leader during a twice-a-decade party congress last month, and
he will soon step down after almost a decade in power.
Nguyen Tan Dung, Vietnam
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. (Andrew Taylor / Associated Press)
66, is one of the most powerful leaders in Vietnam’s ruling Communist
Party, along with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Over two five-year
terms as prime minister, he has gained a reputation as a pro-business
reformer and champion of closer ties with the U.S.. In January, he was
sidelined at a Communist Party internal election, leaving Trong as the
party’s top official.
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and in the USA