Hmong: European Parliament Address Human Rights Violations by Laos
Lao Movement for Human Rights informed about the suppression of Laotian and Hmong people.
A major announcement was made on the human rights crisis and humanitarian catastrophe in Laos at the conclusion of a public hearing, organised on Monday 25 August 2008 by the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR), led by its president, Vanida S. Thephsovanh, participated and has issued a major policy statement and international communique.
The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and key policymakers in Washington, D.C. received an international communiqué today [26 August 2008] from the Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) released in Paris, France regarding the human rights and humanitarian crisis in the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) and efforts by Members of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, to seek to seriously follow-up on these matters.
“We applaud the important human rights and civic work of the Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) in France and internationally and welcome the efforts of key Members of the European Parliament to pursue additional independent research and monitoring of the horrific and catastrophic situation facing the Laotian and Hmong people who are being persecuted, imprisoned and killed by the LPDR regime,” stated Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis.
Smith continued: “Many policymakers in Washington, D.C., the European Parliament and in the international community continue to be deeply concerned about the institutional violence that continues under the LPDR military junta and the plight of the jailed Lao student leaders who peacefully protested in Vientiane, Laos, in October of 1999 but were brutally arrested and jailed by the LPDR military and security forces.”
The following is the text of the statement released in Paris, France, by the Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR)
Members of the European Parliament expressed their concerns on the human rights situation in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR), and announced their wish for an "independent fact finding commission" to be sent soon to the country.
The announcement was made at the conclusion of a public hearing, organised on Monday 25 August 2008 by the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium), in which participated a delegation from the Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR), leaded by its president, Vanida S. Thephsovanh.
During this hearing on "human rights in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam", the president of the LMHR exposed the "hidden face in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, a régime that has never ceased to transgress international rules on human rights for the past 33 years."
She underlined the absence of the basic freedoms in Laos, the enduring problems linked to a non transparent governance, a generalised corruption, a worrying increase of synthetic drugs, a trans-border human traffic, a non respect of the rights for education and health.
Reminding that the leaders of the "Student Movement of 26 October 1999" were always in prison in spite of the statement from the president of the Lao National Parliament assuring "they were all released in 2006", the president of the LMHR also gave details concerning violations of ethnic minorities, the endless violent campaign against the Christians, and the displacement of the population too often for political reasons.
She also recalled that, in its Resolution of December 1st, 2005, the European Parliament urged the LPDR authorities "to draw up and implement as soon as possible all the necessary reforms required to democratize the Country, guarantee the peaceful expression of political opposition, and ensure a speedy holding of multiparty elections under international monitoring with a view to a national reconciliation".
At the end of the hearing, the president of the subcommittee, Hélène FLAUTRE (Green, France), announced that initiatives will be taken in a near future, especially on the creation of an "independent fact finding commission" to investigate inside the country.
The attitude of the Lao leaders regarding human rights was also denounced on this hearing, where, unlike the Cambodian and Vietnamese ambassadors, the LPDR ambassador to the European Union judged unnecessary to participate.