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145 groups: Address Sombath's Enforced Disappearance in Laos' Human Rights Review

14 January 2015

We, the undersigned, request you to resolutely address the disappearance of Sombath Somphone at the upcoming Universal Periodic Review for the Lao PDR on January 20, 2015.

Enforced disappearance is a horrible crime, one of a few internationally recognized as unjustifiable under any circumstances.[1]

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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.

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