European Parliamentarians press Laos on Sombath’s case

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On October 28th, during an official visit to Laos, a delegation of European parliamentarians raised the case of Sombath Somphone, a Lao civil society leader who disappeared on 15 December 2012 in the country’s capital, Vientiane. A few days before the delegation’s departure to Laos, FIDH, jointly with Amnesty International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Human Rights Watch, sent a letter to the MEPs, calling upon them to urge Lao authorities to investigate in full transparency the circumstances of Sombath’s disappearance and ensure his safe return.

Werner Langen, chairman of the European Parliament’s delegation for South-East Asia, warned the Lao authorities that "if the case is not solved they will lose credibility in the EU". He added that the European Union had shortlisted Sombath Somphone for next year’s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought".

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