Key issues remain unaddressed ahead of civil and political rights review

Press release

Paris, 27 July 2017: A United Nations (UN) body should press the government of Laos to address key issues as part of its review of the country’s situation of civil and political rights, FIDH and its member organization Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) said today.

“The Lao government must take the review of its human rights situation seriously and urgently take steps in the right direction to show the UN that it is committed to respecting its international obligations.”

Dimitris Christopoulos, FIDH President

On 24 July 2017, FIDH and LMHR jointly submitted information to the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR) for the adoption of the “List of Issues” as part of the review of Laos under Article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The CCPR monitors state parties’ compliance with their legal obligations under the ICCPR.

In their joint submission, FIDH and LMHR note a number of key concerns, including: the lack of implementation of the Covenant; death sentences imposed for crimes that do not meet the ‘most serious crimes’ threshold; torture and ill-treatment of inmates; incommunicado detention of government critics; the absence of credible investigations conducted into cases of enforced disappearances; prison conditions that fall below international standards; the failure to respect the right to a fair trial; the repression of freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly; the virtually non-existent space for civil society; the lack of genuine elections; and the denial of rights of ethnic and religious minorities.

“The Lao government’s report to the UN committee is embarrassing for its deliberate failure to acknowledge and address the serious human rights violations the country faces. The UN must demand more transparency, accountability, and action on human rights issues, starting with the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone.”

Vanida Thephsouvanh, LMHR President
Press contacts
FIDH: Mr. Andrea Giorgetta (English) - Tel: +66886117722 (Bangkok)
LMHR: Ms. Vanida Thephsouvanh (French, English, Lao) - Tel: +33160065706 (Paris)
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