World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Laos: 15 Yr Prison -- Following A Two Hour Trial




LAOS: 15 year prison sentence for journalists -- following a two hour trial

Amnesty International expressed deep shock today at the 15 year prison sentences handed out to two journalists and their US interpreter, arrested 4 June whilst reporting on the on-going internal armed conflict in Laos. Two of the four Lao nationals who were assisting them were also reported to have been given harsh prison terms yesterday, one reportedly receiving a twenty year prison sentence.

"Fifteen year prison terms after a trial lasting two hours defies belief" said the organization after hearing the verdict.

The trial of the group, including Thierry Falise, a Belgian journalist, Vincent Reynaud, a French photographer, and their interpreter US national Naw Karl Mua, was inexplicably held in the remote north of the country despite their pre-trial detention in the capital Vientiane. The trial lasted little more than two hours and was not open to the public or foreign journalists. However, the French and American Ambassadors were present in the court-room.

The Lao authorities did not make public either the identities of the Lao nationals or the exact charges being brought against both them and the three foreigners. Information received by Amnesty International named the ethnic Hmongs as 27 year old Thao Moua and Char Yang who are believed to have acted as guides for the journalists, and Pa Fue Khang, reportedly the driver of the group. The identity of a fourth Lao national believed to be in detention is unknown.

Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the Lao authorities to be transparent about this case, amid conflicting reports of the death of a Lao national at the time of their arrest.

"This show trial only confirms our continued concerns about fair trial and access to due process in Laos and makes a mockery of justice", said Amnesty International.

"The Lao authorities must make public the identities of the Lao nationals in this case, charges against them and sentences given, and confirm that they had access to a defence lawyer for their trial in accordance with both Lao and international standards of justice", said Amnesty International.

Amnesty International has expressed grave concern for several years about conditions of detention in Laos and fears that all those arrested are at risk of torture and ill-treatment, particularly those from ethnic minority groups who are perceived by the authorities as hostile to the government.

For further information contact:

Rebecca Lineham BH 0-4-499 3595

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC