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Lao Government releases two prisoners of conscience after 14 years
Foreign Prisoner Support Services actively participates in the promotion of world-wide campaigns for the preservation of human rights, as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We would like to acknowledge the Lao Government's recent decision to release two former prisoners of conscience, Feng Sakchittaphong and Latsami Khamphoui. The pair were released from prison in October this year having served a 14-year sentence for charges including "making preparations for rebellion" and "propaganda against the Lao People's Democratic Republic".

Feng Sakchittaphong
Latsami Khamphoui
Thongsouk Saysangkhi
[deceased]

All three men were former high-ranking government officials arrested in October 1990 for writing letters advocating peaceful political and economic change in Laos. Feng had held a high-ranking position in the Ministry of Justice; Latsami was a Vice Minister of Economics and Planning; and Thongsouk, Vice-Minister of Science and Technology. Sadly, Thongsouk Saysangkhi died in prison in 1998 aged 59.

The three men were tried in a closed court in November 1992 on various charges including "making preparations for rebellion", "propaganda against the Lao People's Democratic Republic" and "libel and slander".

After their trials, they were transferred to Prison Camp 7 where, according to former prisoners, the conditions are severe, inhumane and cruel.

Foreign Prisoner Support Services hopes that by the release of these two prisoners of conscience, the Lao Government will be encouraged to address the human and legal rights of other prisoners currently detained in Laos awaiting trial.

Somkhe Prison is a domestic jail located 3 km from the City of Vientiane via Nong Niang Village and beyond the statue of General Kaison Pomvihan. Prisoners detained in Somkhe Prison are categorized by Lao authorities as "the most serious political cases". They are held without charge, trial or sentencing.

Maintaining an accurate list of prisoners in any Lao Prison is extremely difficult because the Lao authorities do not yet permit International monitoring of their detention centres. However, from time to time, advocates of Foreign Prisoner Support Services are able to access information about the prisons and persons detained there from reliable Government and non-Government sources. We are not able to reveal their names publicly in respect to their request to remain anonymous.

Foreign Prisoner Support Services invites the Lao Government to investigate the cases below. All of which are prisoners transferred in November 2001 from Phonthong Prison [the Foreigner's Jail] to Somkhe Prison. All are currently awaiting court sentencing.

1 Ouday Vilaysuk Lao Male detained 7 May 1984
2 Noi Chanthi In-Atkham Lao-Thai female detained 18 Mar 1990
3 Bounmy Phong Xiong Lao/Hmong male detained 27 Sep 1992
4 Norneng Sae Yang Lao-Hmong male detained 24 Jan 1996
5 Kaiseng Thammalat Lao male detained -1994
6 Sen Xiong Yang Lao-Hmong male detained 28 Oct 1994
7 Xienthi Inthachak Lao male detained 6 Sep 1996
8 Bounchan Chanthavong Lao male detained 5 Sep 1995
9 Suthep Saisin Lao-Thai male detained 12 Jan 1995
10 Bunlieng Phinmalai Lao male detained 24 Dec 1996
11 Bunlam Douangchanthongthip Lao male detained 25 Dec 1996
12 Khamkhueng Keoduangphen Lao male detained 24 Dec 1996
13 Boualai Nouantavong Lao male detained 24 Dec 1996
14 Dam Khundala Lao male detained 24 Dec 1996
15 Chanthorn Keomani Lao male detained 24 Dec 1996
16 Dom Phongmani Lao male detained 24 Dec 1996

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All information is Copyright 1997 - 2006 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff
All information is Copyright 1997 - 2006 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff