Laos Detains 9 Planning Protest

Ten years after a rare student uprising, nine people are in custody as they prepare a demonstration.

Patuxaytower-305.jpg Tuk-tuks drive towards the Patuxay tower in the center of Vientiane, March 17, 2006.

BANGKOK—Lao authorities are detaining nine people said to have been travelling by road to the Lao capital to stage a pro-democracy protest, according to Lao sources who asked not to be named.

On Nov. 2, a convoy set out from the Nam Ngum dam area of Thalat in Vientiane province, heading to Vientiane by taxi when authorities intercepted them in Phone Hong town, some 60 kms from Vientiane and also in Vientiane province, at around 5 a.m., relatives said.

Scores of people were taken into custody, held briefly, and released. Five were still held early Wednesday at an undisclosed location, Lao sources said. They were identified as Ms. Kingkeo, 39; Mr. Soubin, 35; Mr. Souane, 50; Mr. Sinprasong, 43; and Khamsone, 36.

Two busloads carrying about 75 travelers each meanwhile set out from the south, and were detained in Pakading town some 70 kms from Vientiane in Borikhamxay province, witnesses said.

They had planned to meet several hundred others at the Patuxay monument in Vientiane, sources said.

The four bus passengers still in custody as of early Wednesday were identified as Mr. Nou, 54, detained in Pakkading, and Ms. Somchit, 29, Mr. Somkhit, 28, and Sourigna, 26, who were detained in Vientiane.

Family members confirmed that all nine were under arrest, sources who asked not to be named said.

Most were connected with the Oct. 26, 1999 student protests in the communist Southeast Asian country—four of whose leaders remain in Samkhe prison in Vientiane after one died in custody.

“What have the 1999 students done that is so terrible as to warrant death and life imprisonment?” a source in Laos asked.

“I am appealing to the international community and the United Nations to look out for the welfare of the Lao people and country. The Lao people are suffering.”

According to the Paris-based Lao Movement for Human Rights, the planned protest aimed at promoting “a real democracy, respect for human rights, cancellation of the Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Treaty of 1977, the release of all political prisoners, and a multiparty system.”

Original reporting by RFA’s Lao service. Lao service director: Viengsay Luangkhot. Executive producer: Susan Lavery. Produced in English by Sarah Jackson-Han.


Add your comment by filling out the form below in plain text. Comments are approved by a moderator and can be edited in accordance with RFAs Terms of Use. Comments will not appear in real time. RFA is not responsible for the content of the postings. Please, be respectful of others' point of view and stick to the facts.


Nov 05, 2009 09:03 PM

They do the right thing we are stongly suppoted them It is the time the Lao in and out have to stand up for our home land

Nov 14, 2009 11:22 AM

Lao PDR alway kill civil person or detainee,troture,rape,and deny all the time.

Nov 04, 2009 02:09 PM

These 9 detainee will be remember for their courage. Even though they are no longer Laos citizen, but they are Laos in blood.

Nov 08, 2009 02:39 AM

In any situation, LPDR will always used 5 techniques to defend themselves. Those techniques are:

1. We don't know
2. WE don't see
3. We don't hear
4. We don't have it. And
5. We don't do it.

If you haven't learned anything about LPDR communism, tnem keep these 5 doctrines in your mind. These are the bad doctrines about communism.

Nov 05, 2009 04:00 AM

In response to this report, the Lao Ambassador the U.N. Nations, Mr. Yong Chanthalangsy said, "it is the same liars such as Philip Smith, Vannida Thepsouvanh and their henchmen who dream of conducting sabotages to torpedoe our SEA
Game but they failed and spead this intoxication."

Denial and thumbing their nose at the international community, yet again.

Nov 06, 2009 12:39 AM

Don't worry soon or later Lao communist will end up like saddam Hussin, when time is come Lao communist will never escape period....

Pathen Lao kone lao pen chow khone bor mia kon viet.

Nov 06, 2009 10:34 PM

The chances of Muang Lao getting to host the SEA Game is small but Lao
got that opportunity to host this game. During this game, politics
should be put aside and all sides should come together and make this
event a success.

Dec 16, 2009 11:53 AM

Their words hide all that is bad. Who want to know how they kill S.E TOUBI LYFOUNG and the other people , I Can show the prouf. Please don't trust those bad people.

Nov 04, 2009 08:00 AM

It's not suprise about this 9 detainers in Laos, Loas is a comministh gorverment can do what ever they want. Also all Lao people outside the country should know is they country not your. If you go there you should prespect the law, You are not lao citizent you are foreigner with visa.

Nov 07, 2009 03:03 AM

The communist Pathet Lao is counting their day to end their form of power. You can run but you cannot hide to bride the whole world. You will be ended up like Saddam Hussen. You are not the government from the people, by the people and for the people. You are a dictatorship for 34 years now. You cannot stop the power of the Lao people. This is a 21st. century not the twentieth century. I strongly urge the Laonai and Laonok to be united to dragging down the power of the dictatorship without delay to bring back the power to the Lao people for the sake of human beings. Shame on you.

Nov 06, 2009 08:04 AM

The chances of Muang Lao getting to host the SEA Game is small but Lao
got that opportunity to host this game. During this game, politics
should be put aside and all sides should come together and make this
event a success.

I support everyone's rights to express their opinion, but holding
protests during times of celebration is plainly wrong. Example:
During ai Xiang's (subsitute any name here, ai CasaLao, ai Puan, ai
Souk...etc.) birthday celebration with families and friends patting ai
Xiang on the back, ai Xiang's youngest son shows up naked covered in
feces crying that he's protesting ai Xiang's disapproval of his
homosexuality? Wrong place, wrong method, wrong time to protest.

Just my 2 cents.

Nov 10, 2009 03:56 AM

Somxay,I think are support the LPDR,you better go and live overthere,not at the u.s.a

Nov 06, 2009 12:07 PM

I would like to tell all lao people who live out side or in side never belive lao communist party, i'm very sure to know them more then 40 yrs they still keep do bad way as like as they first came took over Laos in 1975 they never changed,as you know they are bad guys, they don't care anythings when they need to do it,even their parent they can killed