Free Sombath Now!

Rights groups urge ASEAN to address enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone

Statement - 15 December 2014

On the second anniversary of the enforced disappearance of prominent Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, we, the undersigned regional and international organizations, firmly condemn the Lao government’s ongoing refusal to provide any information regarding Sombath’s fate or whereabouts.

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Statement: Sombath Initiative Created

Bangkok, 11 December 2014 -- While driving home on the evening of December 15th 2012, Sombath Somphone was stopped by traffic police at a police post in Vientiane and taken away by persons in a pickup truck while the police watched.

While Lao government authorities have expressed concern over Sombath’s disappearance, their investigation has been cursory at best and calls into question their commitment to really discovering what has happened to Sombath.

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Keep Sombath’s Vision Alive: Keynote Speech by Shui Meng Ng at AEPF10

Two years ago, at the 9th AEPF, my husband, Sombath Somphone, as the Co-Chair of the National Organizing Committee, gave the keynote speech at the opening session of the Forum in Vientiane, Laos. He was at the time both happy and excited that after months of intensive preparation, the AEPF9 was officially declared open by no less than Laos’ Deputy Prime Minister. More than 1,000 people representing civil society groups and organizations from across Asia and Europe participated. As a Lao, Sombath was proud that his country could play host to such a major civil society forum.

PRESS BRIEFING: Findings of the 3rd Parliamentary Delegation to the Lao PDR on the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone

Sombath Somphone, a widely-respected leader in education and sustainable development in the Lao PDR, and recipient of the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, disappeared on the evening of December 15th, 2012 in the Lao capital Vientiane (see http://www.sombath.org ). CCTV footage which became available 2 days later showed Sombath being stopped by traffic police, his car driven away by an unknown person, and then Sombath being taken in a pickup by 2-3 other unidentified persons.

The Hazards of Dissent: A Panel Discussion

8PM, 3 July 2013 

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of ThailandPenthouse, Maneeya Center518/5 Ploenchit Road (connected to the BTS Skytrain Chitlom station)Patumwan, Bangkok 10330 

If you are a community or environmental activist who may be challenging powerful vested interests or the establishment – or very often both – in your country in this region, you face a challenge that could kill you.

Video: Action at the Embassy of Laos in Manila on the 6th month of Sombath Somphone's Forced Disappearance

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Candle lighting and offering of flowers to represent messages of hope, support and remembrance from all over the world for Sombath at the Lao PDR Embassy in Makati, Philippines on the 6th month since Sombath was forcibly disappeared

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