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After eight years, civil society worldwide demands the government establish and reveal Sombath’s fate and whereabouts

15 December 2020: On the eighth anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, we, the undersigned organizations, reiterate our calls on the government of Laos to reveal his fate and whereabouts, and to investigate…
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News

Trip Covers Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar

(Tokyo) – Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi should forcefully raise human rights concerns on an upcoming regional trip, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the foreign minister. Motegi will visit Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos,…
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi meets the media in Tokyo on May 28, 2020. 
News

Free All Wrongfully Detained; Permit Peaceful Rally

(New York) – The Lao government should immediately release political activists arrested for planning a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Vientiane, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 12, 2019, Lao authorities arrested at least…
Lao people walk past their country flag, in the capital Vientiane, Laos.
News

Prominent Dissident Faces Arrest, Mistreatment in Laos

(New York) – Thai authorities should urgently investigate the apparent enforced disappearance of Od Sayavong, a refugee from Laos and prominent critic of the Lao government, Human Rights Watch said today. Od, 34, was last seen at his house in…
Od Sayavong, a refugee from Laos and outspoken critic of the Lao government, was 'disappeared' in Bangkok on August 26, 2019.
News

Dialogue Should Address Enforced Disappearances, Free Speech

(Sydney, August 12, 2019) – The Australian government should press the Lao government to take serious steps to remedy its poor human rights record at the 6th Australia-Laos human rights dialogue on August 12, 2019, in Canberra, Human…
Surachai Danwattananusorn, prominent Thai anti-monarchist, and two close aides were reportedly abducted in Vientiane in December 2018.
News

Battered Corpses in Mekong River Identified as Missing Activists

(New York) – The Lao government should urgently investigate the disappearance of three Thai political activists who were last seen in the capital, Vientiane, in December 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 22, 2019, Thai…
Surachai Danwattananusorn, prominent Thai anti-monarchist, and two close aides were reportedly abducted in Vientiane in December 2018.
News

African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
Report
Summary When the head teacher found out that I was pregnant, he called me to his office and told me, “You have to leave our school immediately because you are pregnant.” —Jamida K., Kahama, Tanzania, April 2014 We don’t allow pregnant girls to…
News

Eastern Caribbean LGBT Activists Seek Protection, Not Marriage

After Human Rights Watch released a report on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and buggery laws in the Eastern Caribbean, a government minister from Barbados warned against “an attempt to transpose and to…
An unknown man on the Eastern Caribbean island of Barbados.
News

Eastern Caribbean People Should Know Rihanna Has Spoken Out for LGBT People

“Why are we homophobic in Barbados and other countries in the Eastern Caribbean?” a popular host of a morning television show in Barbados asked me. I was on the island – and his show – to talk about a new Human Rights Watch report about…
Rihanna Drive, Barbados.
Report
Summary Every day I fear for my safety living in this country because of my sexual orientation. I am alive but if anyone ever find out and wanted to find out, they can kill me …I am an easy target for anything. —Peter, Dominica,…
News

Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.
News

Repeal of Decree on Associations No. 238 of 2017

H.E. Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith Prime Minister Prime Minister's Office, Vientiane Lao People’s Democratic Republic H.E. Mr. Bounnhang Vorachith President President’s Office, Vientiane Lao People’s Democratic…
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Disclose Sombath Somphone’s Fate or Whereabouts

(Bangkok) – The government of Laos should immediately disclose the fate or whereabouts of the prominent civil society leader Sombath Somphone, who was forcibly disappeared in the capital, Vientiane, in December 2012, Human Rights Watch said today…
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News

Armed Men Kidnap Wuthipong Kachathamakul in Vientiane

(New York) – The Lao authorities should urgently investigate the abduction of an exiled Thai activist Wuthipong Kachathamakul, also known as Ko Tee, Human Rights Watch said today. Eyewitnesses stated that a group of unknown armed assailants…
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News

Australia Should Use Dialogue to Raise Free Speech, ‘Disappearances’

Australian officials should press the government of Laos to respect human rights at the Australian-Laos human rights dialogue, scheduled for July 18-19, 2017, in Vientiane, Human Rights Watch said today in a submission to the Australian government. Key…
News

Human Rights Watch Submission

We write on the occasion of the forthcoming 5th Australian-Laos human rights dialogue, scheduled to be held in Vientiane, Laos in July 2017. Australia should raise pressing human rights issues in an unambiguous manner, set clear benchmarks for…
News

Opposition to Withdrawal by States

The African Union made headlines Tuesday for purportedly agreeing to mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The reality is more complex. The decision by AU member states welcomes the announced withdrawals by South Africa,…
A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017.