Where is Sombath?

Forced or enforced disappearance is not a new phenomenon in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines hundreds of people involuntarily disappeared during the brutal martial law regime. In Indonesia, a number of political activists were abducted during the turbulent years leading up to the fall of Suharto. In Thailand, it has been nine long years since human rights lawyer Somchai Neelaphaijit went missing. Two days from now it will be the fourth month since Sombath Somphone, or Uncle Bath to the young activists in the region, was abducted. The list goes on and on without end in sight.

In observance of holy week, the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) in the Phils. holds its annual Calvary of Injustice. Using the 7 last words of Christ for reflection, friends and families of the disappeared remember their loved ones, their own pains, struggles and hopes. Becky Lozada of the Phil. Coalition for the International Criminal Court remembers Lao activist Sombath Somphone in her reflections on "I am thirsty." Children of the disappeared tell their stories through dance.

by Focus on the Global South

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Laos,

–   having regard to the statement of 21 December 2012 by the spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Laos,

–   having regard to the statement of 21 December 2012 by the spokesperson of High Representative Catherine Ashton on the disappearance of Sombath Somphone in Laos,

To sign this statement, kindly send your email to sombathinfo@gmail.com

February 3, 2013

Minister of The Prime Minister’s OfficePresident of The National AssemblyMinister of Foreign AffairsMinister of Public Security 

Vientiane, Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic

CC: ASEAN Secretary General; ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights; EU Subcommittee on Human Rights 

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