Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Laos: the case of Sombath Somphone

Delivered in Plenary - 7th February 2013

Mr President

The mysterious disappearance of Sombath Somphone, who is a well-known critic and dissident in Laos, is a deep tragedy indeed and, from the video footage, it is widely suspected that the security service or the police may be involved, but proof of course is lacking.

Laos was once a beautiful and peaceful monarchy and now it is a one-party authoritarian Communist state so I welcome Lady Ashton’s statement on behalf of the EU. The Vientiane government must now be put on notice that the international community is aware of this tragic case and will keep the pressure up until his whereabouts are known and he is released.