Laos Students Appeal To Senator Jim Webb for Release of Student Leaders
"On behalf of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy, movement of October 26, 1999, we are calling upon U.S. Senator Jim Webb to help release these leaders and all political and religious prisoners without conditional," said Ms. Nouamkham Khamphilavong and Mr. Oudong Saysana of the of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Vientiane, Laos, Bangkok, Thailand and Washington, D.C., August 20, 2009 - The Lao Students Movement for Democracy has issued an appeal to U.S. Senator Jim Webb ( D-VA ) and the international community for the release of imprisoned Lao student pro-democracy leaders of the 1999 October Students Movement for Democracy. U.S. Senator Webb is traveling to Southeast Asia with visits to Laos, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
“Lao student leaders are still being held in terrible conditions as political prisoners in Laos since their arrest in October of 1999 for peacefully demonstrating for political reform in the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic ( LPDR ) in Vientiane, Laos,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Analysis. “Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Lao Students Movement for Democracy and other organizations have continued to seek to awareness of their plight in harsh prison conditions in Laos where they are being held unjustly by the LPDR regime.” http://asiapacific.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA260042000?open&of=ENG-LAO
“The Lao students are requesting Senator Jim Webb’s assistance in helping to seek to have their colleagues, and fellow students, in Laos released from the infamous Sam Khe prison in Laos by LPDR officials,” Smith concluded.
“As our Virginia Senator, we the Laotian community in Virginia are appealing to U.S. Senator Jim Webb to help the Lao Student Leaders of the October 1999 Student Movement for Democracy who should be immediately released from jail in Laos,” said Bounthanh Rathigna, President of the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc. in Virginia. “Their families are not even allowed to visit them in Sam Khe Prison in Laos which is not right, since they are innocent political prisoners being held for political reasons in by the LPDR regime in violation of their human rights and dignity.”
Laos continues to imprison and jail Lao and Hmong political and religious dissidents, three Hmong-American citizens from St. Paul, Minnesota ( including Mr. Hakit Yang ), as well as hundreds of Hmong refugees forcibly repatriated to Laos from Huay Nam Khao refugee camp in Thailand in recent months. Many of the Lao and Hmong have disappeared into Sam Khe Prison, Phonthong Prison, the Sam Neua gulag and reeducation camp system and elsewhere into secret prisons and camps in Laos.
The following are excerpts of the recent statement issued by Ms. Nouamkham Khamphilavong and Mr. Oudong Saysana and the Lao Students Movement for Democracy in the United States on behalf of the imprisoned Lao student leaders still being imprisoned in Laos in Sam Khe Prison ( also known as Samkhe Prison ) as political prisoners and prisoners of conscience:
“We remain concerned that four out of eleven of the leaders of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy of October 1999 are still in Samkhe prison, Laos.
Thongpaseuth Keuakoun, Seng-Aloun Phenphanh, Bouavanh Chanmanivong and Keochai are still continued to serve their 10 year sentences in Samkhe prison, while their companion Mr. Khamphouvieng Sisa-At, died in Samkhe prison under torture and deprivations.
On behalf of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy, movement of October 26, 1999, we are calling upon U.S. Senator Jim Webb to help release these leaders and all political and religious prisoners without conditional.
We are also calling on the Lao PDR to respect human rights as guaranteed by the Lao Constitution and the charter of the United Nations ( 1951 Geneva Convention ).
Please be advised that the Laos is Communist State like… Vietnam, and an authoritarian military regime like Burma…”
( end excerpts of the appeal and statement by Ms. Nouamkham Khamphilavong, President of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy and Mr. Oudong Saysana, Executive Director )
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