Laos Rocked By Students, Activists: Army Violence as SEA Games Approach
"We are very concerned that the new Laotian protesters and pro-democracy activists in Laos are being jailed in terrible and harsh conditions in Sam Khe prison where they are suffering in horribly from the abuses of communist authorities," said Mr. Oudong Saysana and Ms. Nouamkham Khamphylavong of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy (LSMD).
(Media-Newswire.com) - Washington, D.C., Seattle, Washington, Arlington, Virginia and Vientiane, Laos, November 9, 2009 - A new round of arrests by secret police and army units in Laos have swelled the numbers of Laotians caught up in the government’s effort to try to stop peaceful anti-government, pro-democracy protests in Vientiane and elsewhere in Laos. Laotian people seeking to assemble freely and organize peaceful protests demanding political and economic reforms, and an end to one-party Communist rule in Laos prior to the start of the Southeast Asia Games ( SEA Games ) next month, have been the subject of arrest and detention.
“We are very concerned that the new Laotian protesters and pro-democracy activists in Laos are being jailed in terrible and harsh conditions in Sam Khe prison where they are suffering in horribly from the abuses of communist authorities,” said Mr. Oudong Saysana and Ms. Nouamkham Khamphylavong of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy ( LSMD ). “By the 5th of November we received reports and confirmation from Lao student movement members inside Laos that the arrests of over 300 Laotian people had indeed occurred.” http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1105004.html
Currently, as of November 9, 2009, over 1100 people have been arrested by Lao government for suspected roles in organizing or participating in rallies in opposition to the Lao government’s policies and oppressive
“We encourage the Lao people inside Laos to have courage and not be afraid in seeking democracy and human rights for the suffering people of Laos who are enduring the corruption and abuses of the LPDR communist military regime,” said Oudong Saysana.
Mr. Saysana continued: “The Lao people and protesters have this right to assemble peacefully to demonstrate and organize, and the right of freedom of speech, under the Lao constitution and law. We urge the Lao people from around the world and Diaspora community to unite in support of the new peaceful protests and work to free these brave pro-democracy demonstrators, activists and students. The LPDR regime is in violation of international law and its own constitution in arresting these Laotian people.” http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1103896.html http://www.media-newswire.com/release_1104645.html
“Now more that 1123 Laotian people from North to South in Laos, from Hua Phan Province to Phakse Province in Laos, have been arrested for protesting or seeking to protest against the Lao regime and the increased deployment and intervention of communist Vietnamese military and soldiers from Hanoi,” said Bounthanh Rathigna of the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. ( ULDL ).
“The new Lao protestors, which include many ordinary Laotian citizens and their families, as well as students, must be immediately released from Sam Khe prison and other prisons in Laos,” continued Mr. Rathigna
Bounthanth Rathigna explained further: “More and more freedom-loving Laotian people are also seeking to demonstrate against the LPDR regime because they are tired and angry about the intervention of new battalions of combat troops and secret police from Hanoi and the economic exploitation of Laos by corrupt communist LPDR officials backed by VPA military leaders in Hanoi and Vietnam.
Rathigna said further: “The VPA commanders in Laos and the Vietnamese troops are committing widespread human rights abuses and violating the political and religious freedom of our Lao people; the newly deployed Vietnamese army and security forces are helping the LPDR regime in Laos aggressively oppress and exploiting Laos economically and politically. They are also brutally persecuting and jailing peaceful Lao student protesters and independent Christians and Animists believers, including the Hmong and other Laotians.”
“The LPDR regime backed by the VPA and Hanoi have also launched new attacks against unarmed Lao Hmong civilians in Xieng Khouang, Vientiane, Khammoune and Luang Prabang Province,” said Vaughn Vang of the Lao Hmong Human Rights Council in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
“With the Lao government increasing discredited in the eyes of many Lao people because of corruption and systemic human rights violations, senior army and politburo officials in Hanoi have launched a renewed campaign to assisting the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic ( LPDR ), and Lao Peoples Army ( LPA ) in seeking to suppress and eliminate political and religious opposition groups and dissidents who oppose the one-party military regime,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Policy Analysis ( CPPA ).
“Since the start of efforts to organize anti-government pro-democracy demonstrations on November 2, in Vientiane, 1123 people have been arrested by police and LPA army units of the LPDR backed by addition troops and advisers from Hanoi. Over 300 Laotians were victimized by the LPDR regime in mass arrests on the first day alone of the planned protests, which is significant,” Smith concluded.
This story was released on 2009-11-09. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.