Freedom of expression in Laos slid further down in 2014 with the adoption of a series of measures aimed at tightening control over the media or curbing growing criticism over social media against the ruling party and the government.
On the second anniversary of the enforced disappearance of prominent Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, regional and international organisations condemn the government’s ongoing refusal to provide any information regarding Sombath’s fate or whereabouts.
Media restrictions in Laos are part of a wider pattern of suppression of information, lack of transparency in business dealings, prevention of protests and cultural and religious oversight by the government and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.
The fate of prominent social activist Sombath Somphone, who was apprehended at a police checkpoint in Vientiane one year ago, is yet to be disclosed by members of the government of Laos, whose investigation into his enforced disappearance was inadequate.
15 December 2013 marks the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of prominent activist and civil society leader Sombath Somphone. Despite the Lao Government’s pledge to “thoroughly and seriously” investigate the case, the authorities’ probe has been inadequate and unproductive.
Authorities in Laos have failed to seriously investigate or credibly explain the enforced disappearance six months ago of a leading social activist, Sombath Somphone.
Circumstances surrounding the disappearance of activist Sombath Somphone indicate that Lao authorities took him into custody, raising concerns for his safety.
The Laos director of a Swiss non-profit organisation was ordered to leave the country within 48 hours after she wrote a letter in which she commented on the government’s “strategy of imposing silence” because of constraints on media freedom, and the rule of law.
“Talk of the News” was the only live-broadcast program that enabled the public to phone in and comment on current news and voice their problems.
(RSF/IFEX) – The following is an open letter from RSF to President Choummaly Sayasone: Mr Choummaly Sayasone President Vientiane People’s Democratic Republic of Laos Paris, 23 June 2006 Dear Mr President, Following your appointment as head of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (PPRL) and the state of Laos, Reporters Without Borders, an international organisation which […]
(SEAPA/IFEX) – The Laotian government has prevented “Time” magazine’s Asia correspondent from entering the country to cover the recently-concluded 10th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. Sources in Vientiane told SEAPA that the Laos Foreign Ministry rejected “Time” correspondent Andrew Perrin’s visa application on the grounds that it was submitted late. But SEAPA’s sources […]
(SEAPA/IFEX) – The following is a SEAPA capsule report: SEAPA: Asean summit offers crucial test to media and freedom of expression in Laos As Laos continues in its efforts to emerge from years of isolation, much will be made of how it performs in its hosting of the 10th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) […]