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United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland Statement

Universal Periodic Review – Laos January 2015

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Palais des Nations

The Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at the Palais des Nations

Thank you Mr President,

The United Kingdom thanks the government of Laos for its detailed national report and welcomes its commitment to the UPR process.

We recognise progress since the last review, most notably ratification of the Convention Against Torture and improved international access to Hmong refugees following the 2010 UPR.

We remain concerned about restrictions on civil society, land expropriation compensation mechanisms, the right to freedom of religion or belief, and the practical implementation of Laos’ existing human rights commitments. Recent actions to control access to the internet risk undermining Laos’ commitment to freedom of expression and the right to participate in public and political life.

The United Kingdom recommends:

  1. That Laos establish a thorough, transparent and impartial investigation into Sombath Somphone’s disappearance, as recommended by UN Special Rapporteurs.
  2. That Laos ensures the right to freedom of expression and its other international commitments are upheld in any move to adopt a cyber law

I thank you.

Published 27 January 2015