Sombath Somphone, undated photo

Laos: No progress on case of Sombath Somphone’s disappearance

The Laos authorities must establish an independent commission to uncover the truth about the fate of civil society activist Sombath Somphone, on what is now the third anniversary of his disappearance.

In an open letter to the Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, 49 Directors of Amnesty International national offices around the world are highlighting the near complete lack of progress in the case despite a catalogue of evidence.

“Sombath Somphone’s disappearance remains a dark stain on Laos’ human rights record. The Laos authorities’ claim that they are investigating this crime is a lie – they are simply dodging questions and trying to silence civil society’s attempts to raise the case.” Champa Patel, Amnesty International

“Three years is too long for Sombath’s family and his many supporters to wait for the truth. The Laos authorities must once and for all set up an independent commission to genuinely investigate Sombath’s disappearance.”

Read a full copy of the open letter.