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Texts adopted
Thursday, 15 February 2001 - Strasbourg OJ edition
Human rights: Laos
B5-0107, 0117, 0125, 0136 and 0146/2001

European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in the Lao People's Democratic Republic

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its earlier resolutions on the Lao People's Democratic Republic,

-  having regard to the framework agreement between the European Union and the Lao PDR signed on 29 April 1997, which lays the foundations for cooperation between the two parties,

-  having regard to the Vientiane Declaration adopted at the 13th ASEAN-EU Ministerial meeting on 11 and 12 December 2000,

A.  whereas Laos is coordinating relations between the European Union and ASEAN until 2002 and therefore has a key role to play in promoting the Vientiane Declaration, in particular the provisions under which the signatory States "commit themselves to promote and protect all human rights',

B.  having regard to the numerous international reports detailing serious and repeated human rights violations in Laos, in particular the arbitrary detention of political prisoners in conditions which represent an attack on human dignity and the integrity of the person and the repression of demonstrations calling for respect for fundamental rights, the principle of free elections, a multiparty system and democracy,

C.  having regard to the cases of political prisoners, including Thongsouk Saysangkhi (who died in prison in 1998), Latsami Khamphoui and Feng Sakchittaphong, the leaders of the movement of 26 October 1999, Thongpraseuth Keuakoun, Kamphouvieng Sisa-At, Seng-Aroun Phengphanh, Bomvanh Chanmanivong and Keochay, and the leader of the march of 17 November 2000, Phommachanh Phannorath, who are still being detained without trial and in conditions which are a violation of international rules,

D.  welcoming the Lao Government's signature on 7 December 2000 of two United Nations conventions on human rights, one relating to civil and political rights and the other to economic, social and cultural rights,

E.  whereas real change towards democracy is one of the preconditions for achieving peaceful national reconciliation and development in Laos,

1.  Calls on the Laotian authorities to ratify and implement the two UN human rights conventions as soon as possible;

2.  Calls on the Government of the Lao PDR to release all prisoners of conscience and to guarantee that they can exercise fully their fundamental political, civil and religious rights;

3.  Calls on the Laotian authorities to promote the principle of national reconciliation and to undertake changes necessary for the move towards democracy;

4.  Calls on the Laotian authorities to guarantee freedom of the press in all its forms, including the circulation of information on the Internet;

5.  Instructs its delegation responsible to bring up these subjects at the next EU-Lao PDR interparliamentary meeting;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the President of the Lao DPR.

Last updated: 28 May 2004Legal notice