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Laos: 11 years of government inaction on Sombath Somphone’s enforced disappearance

15 December 2023

On 15 December 2023, Manushya Foundation and other organisations released a Joint Statement reiterating their call on the government of Laos to disclose Sombath Somphone's fate. We collectively urge the Lao government to investigate all allegations of enforced disappearances in the country and to bring those responsible to justice, in fair trials.

A reminder: Who is Sombath?

Sombath is a prominent member of Lao civil society: his work aimed at setting up a community-based development by incorporating the knowledge and opinion of rural people in the planning and management of development projects and programmes.


On 15 December 2012, Sombath was abducted from a police checkpoint in Vientiane, Laos. CCTV footage captured Sombath being stopped by the police before being taken away in a pick-up truck. Since then, the fate and whereabouts of Sombath remain unknown. The Lao authorities have completely failed to investigate Sombath’s case and to reveal the truth about it, and show a total lack of commitment to address the situation.

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