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Procedure : 2017/2831(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0519/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 14/09/2017 - 8.4

Texts adopted :


PDF 263kWORD 50k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0513/2017

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

on Laos: notably the cases of Somphone Phimmasone, Lod Thammavong and Soukane Chaithad (2017/2831(RSP))

Charles Tannock, Karol Karski, Ruža Tomašić, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Monica Macovei, Urszula Krupa, Branislav Škripek, Amjad Bashir, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Angel Dzhambazki, Notis Marias, Jan Zahradil, Raffaele Fitto, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Ryszard Czarnecki, Jana Žitňanská on behalf of the ECR Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Laos: notably the cases of Somphone Phimmasone, Lod Thammavong and Soukane Chaithad (2017/2831(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Laos,


-having regard to Europan Parliament report on Statelessness in South and South East Asia of 13 June 2017,


-having regard to UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) opinion of 25 August 2017,


-having regard to the outcome of 8th European Union-Lao PDR Joint Committee held in Vientiane, 17 February 2017,


-having regard to statement by the EU Delegation to Lao PDR on the World Freedom of Press Day, Vientiane, 3 May 2017,


-having regard to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)


-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,





A. Whereas on 22 March 2017 Ms. Lodkham Thammavong, Mr. Somphone Phimmasone, and Mr. Soukan Chaithad were sentenced to jail terms of respectively 12, 20 and 16 years for comments posted on social media while in Thailand and participation in a protest outside the Lao Embassy in Bangkok;

B. Whereas they were arrested after their return to Laos from Thailand, held incommunicado and forced to apologize on state television “for being traitors to the governing party, the government and the Lao People”;

C. Whereas allegedly after the sentence was passed, families of the detainees were warned by authorities against taking legal action after the verdict or seeking legal representation for their relatives’ in court;

D. Whereas Laos is characterized with numerous human rights problems, which include abusive prison conditions; lack of due process, including arbitrary arrest and detention; government infringements on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association, as well as on the right to privacy; government restrictions on academic freedom; local restrictions on religious freedom; trafficking in persons; societal discrimination based on sexual orientation and against persons with HIV/AIDS; and restrictions on workers’ rights.

E. Whereas in the past Lao authorities have arbitrarily arrested and detained civil society activists and those deemed critical of the government;

F. Whereas government failed to make progress on at least 10 cases of enforced disappearance, including that of prominent activist Sombath Somphone;

G. Whereas the Lao authorities continue to harass and repress religious minorities, particularly Christians; whereas there were numerous cases of confiscation of property, arson attacks against churches and homes, as well as beating for celebrating Christmas and forcing to renounce the Christian faith;


1. Calls on the Lao authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Ms. Lodkham Thammavong, Mr. Somphone Phimmasone, and Mr. Soukan Chaithad and award them compensation for the arbitrary detention and to take appropriate measures against those responsible for their arrest;

2. Expresses grave concern over human rights situation in the country and regrets lack of progress in addressing them;

3. Deplores the track record of Lao government of arresting and detaining individuals solely for the peaceful exercise of the freedom of opinion and expression; calls for immediate release all prisoners sentenced to long terms in presence for exercising their right to freedom of speech;

4. Calls on full and impartial investigations into all the cases of enforced disappearances, including that of Sombath Somphone; calls on the HR/VP to closely monitor progress in this area;

5. Stresses that the Lao authorities should take all necessary steps to end the practice of arbitrary arrests and secret detention; calls on them to make enforced disappearance a criminal offence and to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; stresses that enforced disappearances are clear violations of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms;

6. Condemns persecution of religious minorities, in particular Protestant Christians; calls on the government to immediately stop any activities aimed at Christians and bring those responsible for arson attacks and beatings to justice;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the Government and Parliament of Laos.



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