Asia

NGOs urge search for Laos activist 4 years after he vanished

Human rights groups have renewed calls for a full investigation into the disappearance of a well-known community organizer four years ago at a police checkpoint in the capital of Laos.

More than 130 rights organizations from around the world issued a statement Thursday calling on the Laotian government to provide information about the fate of Sombath Somphone and 10 other activists who were detained or simply disappeared over the past decade.

Laos is a secretive one-party state whose Communist leaders have quashed political dissent since taking power in 1975.

Laotian authorities have not re-examined the case despite a newly discovered security camera video of Sombath's car on the day he disappeared and U.S. pressure during a visit by President Barack Obama to the country in September.