JOINT STATEMENT: CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS URGE LAOS, THAILAND TO INVESTIGATE ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES, REVEAL FATE OF

SOMBATH SOMPHONE AND OD SAYAVONG

15 DECEMBER 2019

On 15 December 2019, to mark the 7th anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, Manushya Foundation joined 87 international civil society organisations in a statement urging Laos and Thailand to investigate the enforced disappearance and reveal the fate of Sombath Somphone, as well of Od Sayavong, another Lao human rights activist who went missing in Bangkok on 26 August 2019.

In the statement, the organisations call for both governments to comply with international standards and finally lead a clear, thorough and impartial investigation on what happened to the two activists, to resolve all cases of enforced disappearances that happened in their countries and to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which both countries signed in September 2008 and January 2012 respectively. Finally, the organisations call for the international community to use the upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Laos to demand the Lao government promptly and effectively investigate the enforced disappearance of Sombath Somphone.

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Founded in 2017, Manushya Foundation serves as a bridge to engage, mobilise, and empower agents of change by: connecting humans through inclusive coalition building and; by developing strategies focused at placing local communities’ voices in the centre of human rights advocacy and domestic implementation of international human rights obligations and standards.

 

Manushya Foundation strengthens the solidarity and capacity of communities and grassroots to ensure they can constructively raise their own concerns and provide solutions in order to improve their livelihoods and the human rights situation on the ground.