X
UCA News

Laos

Government silence over 'disappeared' family

Rights group demands information on missing Christians

Mike MacLachlan, Bangkok

Mike MacLachlan, Bangkok

Updated: January 15, 2013 07:52 PM GMT
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Government silence over 'disappeared' family
Share this article :

The Lao government appears to be ignoring a plea from a rights group for information on a Christian family “disappeared” for more than eight years.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) wrote an open letter last week “urgently requesting” information on the whereabouts of a man, named only as Boontheong, and his wife and son who have not been seen since July 3, 2004. The son was seven at the time.

The letter comes amid growing concern over the fate of activist and Ramon Magsaysay Award winner, Sombath Somphone, who disappeared in Laos last month.   

Before their disappearance, Boontheong had been threatened and imprisoned by local police in Luang Namtha province because of his Christian faith.

CSW and other rights groups have tried over the years to establish the family’s whereabouts, but without success.

Related News

There has been no response from Vientiane to the letter, addressed to President Choummaly Sayasone.

“We have not heard from the Laotian government … neither have they acknowledged the letter,” a CSW spokesperson told ucanews.com. “Simply silence so far. We wait in hope!”

There have been improvements in religious freedom in Laos in recent years, CSW said in a statement. Fewer people are imprisoned for their faith and sentences are shorter.

“However, there are still significant restrictions on Christians as Christianity is often perceived as a ‘foreign’ religion.”

Christians are still subjected to harassment, eviction and imprisonment by local officials, the group said.

UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
Support UCA News
The Pontificate | Make a Contribution
UCAN Ad
 
Contribute and get the Mission in Asia PDF Book/e-Book Free!
Contribute and get the Mission in Asia PDF Book/e-Book Free!
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia