Thongpaseuth Keuakoun and Seng-Aloung Phenhphanh, who received long prison terms for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, are Prisoners of Conscience and should be released.
- Ambassador, LaoPDR Embassy
H. E. Mr. Seng Soukhathivong
The morning of 26 October 1999, the annual water festival, Thongpaseuth Keuakoun, Seng-Aloun Phengphanh, Bouavanh Chanhmanivong, Keochay, and Khamphouvieng Sisaath were arrested for attempting to unroll posters at the National Assembly building. They were charged with treason and given excessive sentences.
All five men were part of the Lao Student Movement for Democracy (LSMD). LSMD’s concerns were for free education, a multi-party democracy, free and fair elections, and release of political prisoners.
Amnesty International believes all men to be Prisoners of Conscience; arrested for peacefully exercising their freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of assembly, all of which are rights under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Prisoners of Conscience Thongpaseuth Keuakoun and Seng-Aloung Phenhphanh received long prison terms for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
A) We call for their immediate and unconditional release;
B) We ask you for information on where they are held, whether they are allowed family visits and how often, are their lawyers able to visit them, and how is their health;
C) We ask you to continue to raise their case with the Lao authorities.
We ask for an independent investigation into the death in detention of Khamphouvieng Sisaath in 2001, and for those responsible to be brought to justice.
We welcome news prisoner of conscience Bouavanh Chanhmanivong has been released. We ask you please confirm the date of his release.
Keochay apparently was released in 2002 but not known until 2006.
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