List of Political Prisoners in Lao PDR.


We urge Lao Government to release them:


(Left) Miss Lod Thammavong, (Center) Mr. Somphone Phimmasone, (Right) Mr. Soukane Chaithad

Three Laotian workers sentenced to 12, 18 and 20 years jail for criticizing government

(Radio Free Asia – RFA’s Article) Three Laotian workers arrested last year for criticizing their government on Facebook while working in Thailand have been handed down long prison sentences. The relative of one of the three has reported the news, provoking the condemnation of human rights movements, demanding their immediate release.

Families and friends reported that Somphone Phimmasone, 29, his girlfriend Lod Thammavong, 30, and Soukane Chaithad, 32, disappeared in March 2016 after they returned to Laos to renew their passports.

While working in Thailand, the three had harshly criticized the Laos government on the Internet, accusing it of human rights violations. Later, the three appeared on Laotian television, releasing public confessions for what they called the mistake of protesting against the policies of the country.

Another relative of one of the workers reported that he had recently contacted a detention center official asking for permission to visit his family member. During the interview, he was told that the three “were sentenced last month”.

The official told the relative that Lod Thammavong, Soukane Chaithad and Somphone Phimmasone were sentenced to 12, 18 and 20 years in prison respectively. He added that the three were transferred to Xam Khe prison in the capital Vientiane, the largest detention facility in the country.

In 2014, the Laos government issued a decree prohibiting online criticism from the government and the Laos People’s Revolutionary Party of (LPRP). The law provides strict sanctions for Internet service providers and users who violate government controls and also requires netizens to use their real names when setting up social media and other online accounts.

Lao Authorities Arrest Woman for Criticizing Flood Relief Efforts on Facebook


Ms. Houayheuang Xayabouly (Nick Name: Muay Mou Noi)

A woman in Laos was arrested last week on charges of defaming the country after she posted criticism on Facebook of the slow government response to severe floods in the country’s southern provinces, sources say.

Houayheuang Xayabouly, 30, criticized the government for delaying their rescue effort, leaving many victims still trapped in areas cut off by floodwaters.

A source familiar with her case told RFA’s Lao Service she was arrested on Thursday and is in custody in Champassak province.

“The police confirmed her arrest and she’s now being detained in the Champassak provincial jail,” the source said on Friday.

“She is not allowed to meet anyone yet because the police are still investigating her,” said the source.

The criticism was posted in a Facebook Live video, where she complained about delays in rescuing victims in Champassak and Salavan provinces on September 5.

“She was arrested because she was critical of local authorities for the delay, [saying] they left the flooded villagers to their own devices,” said a source, who lives in Houayheuang Xayabouly’s neighborhood.

The police of the provincial investigation unit filed a report to the provincial prosecutor Thursday confirming the arrest and charges.

Her family applied at Champassak’s Phonethong district police station Monday to have her released on bail, but an officer there told RFA the decision to grant bail must go through the provincial police station.

“We have no idea if the relevant authorities, including the provincial police and prosecutors will allow her out on bail. She’s been charged with defaming the Lao PDR as well as the party and the state, which goes against Article 117 of Criminal Law,” said the officer.

The arrest came a little more than a week after a Lao man working in Thailand disappeared after criticizing his country’s government online and in public protests.

Od Sayavong, 34, vanished on Aug. 26 after telling a roommate that he would be home for dinner.

Part of a group of Lao dissidents living in Bangkok, Od had taken part in a June 16 protest in the city calling for political freedoms and human rights in Laos, especially for the victims of government land grabs and dam collapses that have left hundreds stuck in poor housing without a way to earn a living.

He had also called for the release of three Lao workers given long prison terms in April 2017 for criticizing their government while working in Thailand.

Rights groups chime in

According to a press release from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Article 117 punishes with prison terms of one to five years and a fine of five to 20 million Kip (approximately US$570 to US$2,280) anyone who conducts “propaganda activities against and slandering the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, […] or circulating false rumors causing disorder by words, in writing, through print, newspapers, motion pictures, videos, photographs, documents or other media which are detrimental to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic or are for the purpose of undermining or weakening State authority.”

FIDH expressed disappointment that authorities arrested Houayheuang Xayabouly for exercising her right to freedom of speech.

“It is absolutely shocking and unacceptable that the authorities have arrested this local woman just because she was calling for victims of this disaster to get further assistance,” FIDH Secretary-General Debbie Stothard told RFA’s Lao Service.

“She was simply trying to get help for her community and it is ridiculous and horrifying that the Laos government has done this to her,” she added.

Meanwhile, Konakok Thadam, an official at Amnesty International’s Thailand office, told RFA, “Houayheuang Xayabouly has the basic right to express her opinion in support of rescuing people from the flooding crisis. She is not intentionally trying to overthrow the government.”

Critical opinion

Houayheuang Xayabouly’s 17-minute-long Facebook Live video on September 5 was viewed 150,000 times.

In the video, she said, “In this emergency situation, I am not in need of food and water yet, but yesterday [September 4], a huge flood came and people here were up on the roofs of their houses trying to escape. Where is the helicopter for rescuing those people?”

“I cannot be silent as we have been in the past. The era of the regime keeping the eyes and mouths of the people closed has come to an end,” she added.

While the government says it is doing what it can to assist victims of the flood, many have gone without any help.

A villager in Salavan province’s Khongsdone district said that even days into the flooding “villagers have not received any relief from authorities.”

Another villager in Champassak’s Sanansomboun district reported that nearly 600 villagers were on their own after the flooding, surviving in the jungle for three days without any help after fleeing to the mountains.

The flood in Laos’ southern provinces was preceded by a prolonged drought. Experts have said that climate change is likely responsible for longer dry periods and more severe storms in the Mekong region.

Estimates by the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance suggest that 572,000 people have been affected by the flood. As of September 11, at least 14 people have lost their lives in the floods.

Disappearance in Laos:


(Left) Somephone Khanhtisouk (Center) Sombath Somphone (Right) Od Sayavong.
(ຊ້າຍມື) ທ່ານ ສົມພອນ ຂັນຕິສຸກ (ກາງ) ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ແລະ (ຂວາມື) ທ້າວ ອ໊ອດ ໄຊຍະວົງ.

Radio Free Asia Article Below:

ເນື່ອງໃນໂອກາດ ວັນບຸກຄົນທີ່ຕົກເປັນເຫຍື່ອ ການຖືກບັງຄັບ ໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນສາກົລ ທີ່ກົງກັບວັນທີ 30 ສິງຫາ ໃນທຸກໆປີ, ໃນປີນີ້ ຫຼາຍພາກສ່ວນດ້ານສິດທິມະນຸດສາກົລ ຍັງເບິ່ງວ່າ ທາງການລາວ ຍັງຂາດ ຄວາມເອົາໃຈໃສ່ ໃນການແກ້ໄຂບັນຫາ ຄົນຫາຍສາບສູນໃນລາວ ແລະ ບໍ່ມີການສືບສວນ-ສອບສວນ ຕິດຕາມຫາ ຜູ້ຫາຍສາບສູນ ແບບຈິງຈັງ, ເຊິ່ງມີຄວາມໜ້າເປັນຫ່ວງຫຼາຍ, ດັ່ງທ່ານ ຟີລ ໂຣເບີດສັນ, ຮອງຜູ້ອໍານວຍການ ອົງການ Human Rights Watch ປະຈໍາພາກພື້ນອາຊີ-ປາຊີຟິກ ກ່າວຕໍ່ວິທຍຸເອເຊັຽເສຣີ ໃນວັນທີ 27 ສິງຫານີ້ວ່າ:

ທ່ານວ່າ: “ເຫັນໄດ້ຊັດເຈນວ່າ ຣັຖບານລາວ ບໍ່ເຄີຍສົນໃຈ ເຣື່ອງຄອບຄົວ ຂອງຄົນທີ່ຫາຍໄປ ບໍ່ເຄີຍມີຄວາມຄືບໜ້າ ຍົກໂຕຢ່າງ ກໍຣະນີ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ກໍມີແຕ່ການປິດບັງ ຂອງຣັຖບານ ທີ່ອ້າງວ່າ ບໍ່ມີສ່ວນກ່ຽວຂ້ອງ, ບໍ່ຮູ້ເຣື່ອງ, ບໍ່ໄດ້ເຮັດ, ບໍ່ໄດ້ສອບສວນ.”

ທ່ານ ຟີລ ກ່າວຕື່ມວ່າ ກ່ຽວກັບການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ນັກພັທນາຄົນສໍາຄັນ ໃນລາວ ເປັນສິ່ງທີ່ເຮັດໃຫ້ ປະຊາຊົນລາວຫຼາຍຄົນ ມີຄວາມຢ້ານ ໃນການສະແດງຄວາມຄິດເຫັນ ຫຼືເຄື່ອນໄຫວແນວຕ່າງໆ ທີ່ຂັດກັບນະໂຍບາຍ ຂອງພັກ-ຣັຖ ຍ້ອນຢ້ານບໍ່ປອດພັຍ, ແຕ່ເຖິງຢ່າງໃດກໍຕາມ  ທາງອົງການຂອງພວກທ່ານ ກໍຈະບໍ່ຖອຍ ແລະ ຈະບໍ່ຍອມຈຳນົນ ຈົນກວ່າຄວາມຈິງທັງໝົດ ຈະຖືກເປີດເຜີຍ.

ຍານາງ ອັງຄະນາ ນີລະໄພຈິດ, ອະດີດກັມມະການ ສິດທິມະນຸດແຫ່ງຊາດ ປະຈໍາປະເທດໄທຍ ກ່າວວ່າ ຕົນມີຄວາມເປັນຫ່ວງ ກ່ຽວກັບເຣື່ອງ ການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງຄົນລາວ ເປັນຕົ້ນ ທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ຮວມທັງທ້າວ ອ໊ອດ ໄຊຍະວົງ ນັກເຄື່ອນໄຫວ ຮຽກຮ້ອງປະຊາທິປະຕັຍໃນລາວ, ເຊິ່ງເມື່ອຖາມໄປຫາ ຣັຖບານລາວ ກໍໄດ້ຮັບການປະຕິເສດ ທີ່ຈະຕອບຄໍາຖາມກ່ຽວກັບເຣື່ອງນີ້:

ທ່ານວ່າ: “ຄືມື້ນີ້ ຍັງບໍ່ມີຄວາມຄືບໜ້າ ຄືກັບວ່າ ຣັຖບານລາວ ກໍປະຕິເສດບໍ່ຮັບຮູ້ ຢ່າງກໍຣະນີ ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ທາງຣັຖບານລາວ ກໍບໍ່ມີທ່າທີ ທີ່ຈະຕອບສນອງ ແຕ່ຄວນທີ່ ຈະມີການຮ່ວມມື ທີ່ຈະຊ່ວຍກັນ ທັງເຣື່ອງປົກປ້ອງ ສິດທິມະນຸດ.”

ຍານາງກ່າວອີກວ່າ ຫຼັງຈາກທີ່ທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ໄດ້ຫາຍສາບສູນໄປ ກໍໄດ້ເຮັດໃຫ້ເກີດຄວາມຢ້ານ ແກ່ປະຊາຊົນລາວ ເນື່ອງຈາກທ່ານ ເປັນພຽງແຕ່ ນັກພັທນາຊຸມຊົນ ທີ່ບໍ່ໄດ້ກ່ຽວຂ້ອງກັບການເມືອງແທ້ໆ ຍັງຖືກລັກພາໂຕ ແລະ ບັງຄັບໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນໄດ້. ເຖິງແມ່ນວ່າ ຣັຖບານລາວ ມີການຕິດຕາມຄົ້ນຫາ, ແຕ່ຜົລຂອງການຄົ້ນຫາ ບໍ່ເປັນທີ່ໜ້າພໍໃຈ ແລະ ໃນຂນະດຽວກັນ ກໍມີຄວາມເປັນຫ່ວງ ເຣື່ອງຄວາມປອດພັຍ ຂອງຊາວລາວຫຼາຍຄົນ ທີ່ລີ້ພັຍທາງການເມືອງ ມາຢູ່ປະເທດໄທຍ ໂດຍຍັງບໍ່ທັນໄດ້ໄປຢູ່ປະເທດທີ 3.

ກ່ຽວກັບເຣື່ອງນີ້ ວິທຍຸເອເຊັຽເສຣີ ໄດ້ຕິດຕໍ່ຫາ ກະຊວງການຕ່າງປະເທດ ແລະ ກະຊວງປ້ອງກັນຄວາມສະຫງົບ ເພື່ອຖາມຄວາມເຫັນເພີ່ມຕື່ມ, ແຕ່ເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ກ່ຽວຂ້ອງ ບໍ່ສະດວກໃຫ້ສັມພາດທາງໂທຣະສັບ.

ເນື່ອງໃນໂອກາດ ວັນບຸກຄົນ ທີ່ຕົກເຫຍື່ອ ການຖືກບັງຄັບໃຫ້ຫາຍສາຍສູນສາກົລນີ້, ຊາວລາວທ່ານນຶ່ງ ເວົ້າວ່າ ທີ່ຜ່ານມາ ກໍເຄີຍໄດ້ຍິນຂ່າວ ການຫາຍສາບສູນຢູ່ລາວ ເປັນຕົ້ນ ກໍຣະນີ ຂອງທ່ານສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ ແຕ່ບໍ່ໄດ້ຕິດຕາມຫຼາຍ ແຕ່ຢ່າງໃດ ຍ້ອນເຫດການດັ່ງກ່າວ ຢູ່ໄກບ້ານຕົນເອງ:

“ໂອ່ ຫຼາຍປີແລ້ວ ກະຍິນຂ່າວຢູ່ ຫາກຫຼາຍປີແລ້ວ ກະບໍ່ມີລະອຽດເນາະ ມັນບໍ່ແມ່ນຄົນບ້ານເອງຫັ້ນນະ ກະຍິນແຕ່ຂ່າວວ່າ ເຂົາກະໄປແຈ້ງເຈົ້າໜ້າທີ່ໄວ້ເນາະ ແນວເຂົາກະມີຄອບຄົວແລ້ວເດ.”

ກ່ຽວກັບເຣື່ອງ ການແກ້ໄຂຄດີ ຄົນຫາຍສາບສູນຢູ່ລາວ ຊາວລາວອີກທ່ານນຶ່ງ ທີ່ອາສັຍຢູ່ໃນປະເທດໄທຍ ເວົ້າວ່າ ຕົນບໍ່ຮູ້ ແລະ ບໍ່ໄດ້ຕິດຕາມການແກ້ໄຂ ຮູ້ພຽງແຕ່ວ່າ ການເວົ້າຫຼືສະແດງຄວາມຄິດເຫັນ ເຣື່ອງການເມືອງຢູ່ລາວ ເປັນສິ່ງທີ່ອັນຕລາຍແທ້. ຫາກຜູ້ມີອໍານາດໄດ້ຍິນ ກໍຈະຖືກໝາຍຫົວໄວ້ ແລະ ອາຈຖືກບັງຄັບ ໃຫ້ຫາຍສາບສູນໄດ້ເຊັ່ນກັນ:

“ອອກມາ ວິພາກວິຈານການເມືອງ ຫຼືໂພສໃນເຟສບຸຄ ເຈົ້າກະຖືກໝາຍຫົວແລ້ວ ສູ່ມື້ນີ້ ຄົນທີ່ອອກມາ ວິພາກວິຈານຣັຖບານ ແບບໂຈ່ງແຈ້ງ ແບບເປີດໜ້າເປີດຕາ ສ່ວນຫຼາຍ ກະມີແຕ່ໜີ ອອກນອກປະເທດ ຖ້າໃຜເວົ້າ ກະຕ້ອງອອກນອກປະເທດ ຈຶ່ງກ້າເວົ້າ ເພິ່ນໄດ້ມີຂໍ້ຫາຕໍ່ຕ້ານຣັຖບານ.”

ທີ່ຜ່ານມາ ເຄີຍເກີດກໍຣະນີ ຄົນຫາຍສາບສູນໃນລາວ ຫຼາຍກໍຣະນີ, ແຕ່ບາງກໍຣະນີ ທີ່ສັງຄົມຮູ້ຈັກ ກໍແມ່ນກໍຣະນີ ຂອງທ່ານ ສົມພອນ ຂັນຕິສຸກ, ເຈົ້າຂອງເຮືອນພັກ Landing Boat ແລະ ນັກທຸຣະກິຈ ຢູ່ແຂວງຫຼວງນໍ້າທາ ທີ່ຖືກລັກພາໂຕ ໃນປີ 2007. ຕໍ່ມາ ແມ່ນທ່ານ ສົມບັດ ສົມພອນ, ນັກພັທນາອາວຸໂສ ດີເດັ່ນ ເຈົ້າຂອງລາງວັນ ແມັກໄຊໆ ອາວ໊ອດ ປີ 2005 ທີ່ຖືກລັກພາໂຕ ໃນວັນທີ 15 ເດືອນທັນວາ ປີ 2012 ຢູ່ນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ. ນອກຈາກນັ້ນ ຍັງມີກໍຣະນີ ການຫາຍສາບສູນ ຂອງທ້າວ ອ໊ອດ ໄຊຍະວົງ, ນັກເຄື່ອນໄຫວ ດ້ານສິດທິມະນຸດ ແລະ ເພື່ອປະຊາທິປະຕັຍໃນລາວ ທີ່ຫາຍສາບສູນ ເມື່ອວັນທີ 26 ສິງຫາ ປີ 2019 ຢູ່ເຂດບຶງກຸ່ມ ນະຄອນຫຼວງບາງກອກ ປະເທດໄທຍ.