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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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New ‘Bilingual’ Policy Threatens Children’s Education

(New York) – The Chinese government should reverse its new policy of increasingly replacing Mongolian with Mandarin Chinese as the language of instruction in Inner Mongolia schools, Human Rights Watch said today. Chinese authorities should also stop…
Mongolians protest at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, against China's plan to introduce Mandarin-only classes at schools in the neighbouring Chinese province of Inner Mongolia on August 31, 2020.
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. 
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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.
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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.
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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…
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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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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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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…
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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…
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There’s a town in Africa that offers an amazing view of the Mongolian steppes. The picturesque panorama is hand-painted on the patio wall of Rubkona Primary School, in a rural town in South Sudan. The flowing rivers on the wall contrast sharply…
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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.
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On fourth anniversary of enforced disappearance, civil society demands to know: “Where is Sombath Somphone?”

On the fourth anniversary of the enforced disappearance of prominent Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, we, the undersigned organizations, condemn the Lao PDR government’s ongoing failure to adequately investigate Sombath’s disappearance. We urge…
News

Sombath Somphone Still Missing After Four Years

(Bangkok) – The Lao government has made no progress accounting for civil society leader Sombath Somphone, who was forcibly disappeared on December 15, 2012, Human Rights Watch said today. Four years after he was stopped at a police checkpoint in the…
Sombath Somphone is still missing four years after he was forcibly disappeared in Vientiane, Laos.
News

Latest Move Shows Government’s Disregard for Victims

(Nairobi) – Burundi has taken a major step backward by officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch said today. Other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi’s withdrawal and affirm their support for…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
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Disclosing Fate of Sombath Somphone Major Test for New Government

(New York) – Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith should immediately disclose the fate of prominent activist Sombath Somphone, who has been forcibly disappeared in Vientiane since December 2012, Human Rights Watch said. Since taking office on…
Sombath Somphone is still missing four years after he was forcibly disappeared in Vientiane, Laos.