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Hmong: Mass Arrests of 346 Protesters in Laos

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Hmong: Mass Arrests of 346 Protesters in Laos

Laotian and Hmong human rights organizations have issued statements condemning the arrest and imprisonment of 346 Laotian students and demonstrators in Vientiane and urge for their release of the protesters



Below is an article published by Media Newswire: 

In Laos, 346 people have been arrested on Monday, November 2 and in recent days according to sources in Laos and Laotian student, human rights and non-governmental organizations abroad.  Sources inside the Lao government and army have also confirmed the arrests.  The arrests come in the wake of the 10th anniversary commemoration of the bloody crackdown in Vientiane on October 26, 1999, of peaceful Lao Student demonstrations.

Laotian and Hmong human rights organizations have issued statements condemning the new crackdown and urging the release of the Laotian protesters.  The Paris, France-based Lao Movement for Human Rights ( MLDH - Mouvement Lao pour les Droits l’Homme, or LMHR )  ), the Lao Students Movement for Democracy ( LSMD ), the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. ( ULDL ) the Center for Public Policy Analysis ( CPPA ) and other organizations have issued statements and appeals about the arrests of the some 300 Laotians in recent days. 
Vanida S. Thephsouvanh and the MLDH have also issued an international communiqué and statement from Paris, France, regarding the recent arrests in Laos.

“The 346 Lao peaceful demonstrators and organizers recently arrested in Laos were seeking to demonstrate and stand-up for the Lao nation and in opposition to the corruption and widespread violation of human rights by the LPDR communist regime.  The Lao people and demonstrators want economic and political reform and positive change in Laos.  They were arrested because they peacefully opposed the LPDR one-party military dictatorship and instead they support the pro-democracy student demonstrations of 1999 and other political and religious dissident groups seeking political liberty and religious freedom.  Clearly, the freedom-loving Lao people want the Vietnamese troops and Vietnam generals in Hanoi to get out of Laos and stop their current intervention to support the LPDR communist puppet regime which the people dislike and oppose because it is a failed and corrupt, communist military dictatorship,” said Bounthanh Rathigna, President, of the United League for Democracy in Laos ( ULDL ).

The Lao Peoples Democratic Republic ( LPDR ) is a one-party communist regime closely allied to Burma and North Korea.  It is ruled by a military junta of elderly Stalinist generals. 
Thousand of Laotian and Hmong civilians, including women and children, have been starved to death and killed in recent months and years in Laos by LPA troops and security forces who have raped and committed other horrific atrocities against innocent civilians, ethnic minorities and dissident groups.
The news also happened a week after the 10th anniversary of the "'Student Movement of 26 October 1999' whose leaders have been imprisoned for 10 years in the LPDR jails.”

Campaign for the release of the following three prisoners who were jailed for 10 years, but still remain in custody in harsh prison conditions.

Seng-Aloun Phenghanh
Bouavanh Chanmanivong
Thongpasseuth Keuakoun
Keochay Sisaath (released)
Khamphouvieng Sisaath (died in prison)
Although more than 10 years have passed, only Keochay has been released. Another of the group – Khamphouverieng Sisaath died in prison as a result of harsh punishment inflicted on him by the prison guards.
The Lao authorities continue to be secretive about the fate of Thongpasseuth Keuakoun, Seng-Aloun Phengphanh, and Bouavanh Chanmanivong. We understand the three men continue to be detaiined in Samkhe prison, the main dentention facility in Laos, where conditions are known to be extremely harsh with poor medical care and food.

  • Thongpasseuth Keuakoun

  • Seng-Aloun Phenghanh

  • Bouavanh Chanmanivong

Samkhe Prison


Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Salutation: Dear [name]

Suggested message: We are thinking of you and hope you will rejoin your family soon.

Please do not make political comments in your message.
And write to
Thongsing Thammavong

Prime Minister

Bouasone Bouphavanh

Prime Minister’s Office

Rue Sisavat


Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Thongloun Sousilih

Deputy Prime Minister

Bouasone Bouphavanh

Prime Minister’s Office

Rue Sisavat


Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Suggested letter:

I urge you to take action on behalf of the three protestors who continue to be held in Samkhe prison - Thongpaseuth Keuakoun, Seng-Aloun Phengphanh, Bouavanh Chanmanivong. They are all prisoners of conscience, detained in violation of their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and should be released immediately without conditions. I also request you to confirm whether Keochay has been released, and if not to ensure that he too is released without delay. Pending their release the men should be treated humanely, with regular access to their families and medical care in accordance with international human rights standards.

I understand that the fifth protestor Khampouvieng Sisaath died in detention after he was ill-treated by prison guards in 2001. I am deeply concerned that more than seven years have passed and still no investigation into the circumstances of his death appears to have been carried out. I call on you to launch an investigation without delay, and to ensure that the family of Khampouvieng Sisaath are provided with redress and compensation. This should be complemented by further action on the part of your government towards improving conditions of detention and eradicating the use of torture and ill treatment.
Finally I request that you take immediate steps towards ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) signed by Laos in 2001. Under the ICCPR, states are obliged to uphold the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and I would like to see your government take steps towards implementation of this, by ending the use of national security legislation to criminalise peaceful political dissent.
I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.

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