EU presses Laos on human rights and continued disappearance of Sombath Somphone

The statement issued by the EU recalls a number of issues of concern relating to the human rights situation in Laos as detailed in “Laos: The government’s failure to reform and address serious human rights issues call for EU action”, a briefer published by FIDH and it member organization, the Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR), ahead of the annual dialogue.

This statement, which followed the 5th Laos-EU Working Group on Human Rights and Governance held on 19 May 2014, includes land grabbing, forced evictions, restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, religions, and association, and enforced disappearances. The EU highlighted the case of human rights defender Sombath Somphone whose “disappearance is seen by the EU with grave concern and remains unexplained.”

The EU statement also expressed concern over the lengthy registration process for Lao civil society organizations, an issue well documented in the FIDH/LMHR briefer.

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