Sombath Somphone

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 28th October 2015.

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Photo of Angus MacNeil Angus MacNeil Chair, Energy and Climate Change Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received on the whereabouts of Sombath Somphone who disappeared in Laos in December 2012; and what representations his Department has made to the Laos government on Mr Somphone.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

We remain very concerned as to the whereabouts of Mr Sombath Somphone. We regularly raise his disappearance with the Lao government. Laos underwent its second UN Universal Periodic Review under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council, earlier this year. The United Kingdom’s recommendation calling on the Lao government to conduct a thorough, transparent and impartial investigation into Mr Somphone’s disappearance was formally accepted by the Lao government. On 11 September, 1000 days since Mr Somphone’s disappearance, I wrote to the Lao Ambassador to the United Kingdom, to urge the Lao government to rapidly proceed with conducting an investigation. Next month, at the EU-Laos Human Rights Dialogue in Vientiane, the United Kingdom, along with our EU partners, will highlight the lack of progress in the investigation into Mr Somphone’s disappearance.

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