Human Rights office concerned over disappearance of prominent human rights defender

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UN Human Rights Office

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed concern over the disappearance of a prominent human rights defender in the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

The Human Rights office says six months on, there appears to have been no progress in investigating the forced disappearance of Sombath Somphone, who disappeared as he was driving home in the capital, Vientiane on the 15th December 2012.

Spokesperson for the Human Rights office Elisaabeth Throssell says reports suggest that his apparent abduction may be related to his work.

“Security camera footage reportedly showed his jeep stopped at a police post and then driven away by men in civilian clothes. We are very concerned about his safety as his whereabouts remain unknown and no progress has been reported in identifying the suspected perpetrators. We urge the Government of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic to intensify measures to locate him and to ensure his prompt and safe return to his family.”

Spokesperson Elisabeth Throssell says Sombath Somphone has been internationally recognised for his work on sustainable and equitable development.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’01″

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