Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sombath Somphone still missing - government issues statement

UPDATE 21.12.2012

German Ambassador to Laos Robert von Rimscha issued a statement about Sombaths disappearance in his yearly address to the German community, raising concerns about the case and promising to work on the issue with high priority.

The Lao authorities have issued a statement regarding the disappearance of Sombath Somphone, a well known and respected Lao who works with Patetc and Saonban.

"(KPL) After having received a notice on the mission of Mr. Sombath Somphone and received the CCTV footage on the incidence from his wife, the authorities concerned of the Lao PDR have checked the initial information obtained, and therefore would like to inform as follows:

On 15 December 2012, the traffic police were conducting their routine random checks on cars at the police outpost on Thadeu road in the vicinity of Watnak village, Sisattanak district, Vientiane Capital. According to the CCTV footage, at 6:00 pm the traffic police stopped the Jeep of Mr Sombath in order to check for driving license and car documents as normal procedures. Being stopped, Mr Sombath walked out from his car to the police to present documents. After the police had checked the documents they returned them to Mr Sombath and continued their duty of checking other cars. Then, a man came on a motorbike parked it near Sombath's car and rushed to the police outpost direction. A little while after, a man walked to Sombath's car and was driving it away slowly, according to statement of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Missing of Mr. Sombath Somphone, on 19 December.

About 10 minutes later, a pickup truck came with hazard lights flashing. The pickup truck stopped near the police outpost. One man entered the pickup truck and shortly after that another person got on and then got off the pickup truck and then got on the vehicle again. There was no sign of these two men being forced while getting on the vehicle and it was not possible to identify who they were. Then the pickup truck went away to an unknown destination.

Following the preliminary assessment of the incidence from the CCTV footage, the authorities concerned viewed that, it may be possible Mr. Sombath has been kidnapped perhaps because of a personal conflict or a conflict in business or some other reasons and at this stage the authorities are not in a position to say exactly what has actually happened, why Mr. Sombath has gone missing and who have been involved in the incidence.

In this connection, the authorities concerned are currently and seriously investigating the incidence in order to find out the truth and whereabouts of Mr Sombath."

Questions still remain why the police did nothing when they witnessed that someone stole the car and Sombath was forced into the car. He certainly would have informed the police officers if he had been kidnapped.

The Video is available on Youtube:


  1. Obviously he was forced to get in the pickup and the question is why the one who stole his car still can park his motobike there? come on the public want better explaination from the police.

  2. hi may i know the source of this statement? Where did you get the Lao government statement from? Just verifying the source. Thank you! I am a concerned friend of Sombath's.


  3. KPL is the state news agency.. they published it.

  4. It must not be too difficult to identify the car who took away Sombath and to find back the jeep. Why is there no witness account of the police who checked the papers of Sombath and must have seen who took him away? If this is a "mistake" of the authorities it would be better to restore confidence by (helping to) release Sombath as soon as possible. If it is a planned action to install fear among civil society, it should be known that this will only backfire to the kidnappers in the long run.

  5. I'm lao people also but i want any things should be fact and exactly every one can be display their 's right and democracy. do not harass ,crim, theatten .in the worldwide are all democracy why? but laos PDR not same another country . Mr Sombath Somphone in appearence from laos authority not be fair and not believe . laos Government should be first authorize to make that issue to be clear for the people in laos and worldwide and display reason why? need to do like that .We are not happies and we will not respect the laos government forever and we will try to enfore for happening the new democratic in country . not only mr sombath Somphone the government was bline the people . qestion : when governmeny will show the fact to people in country and worldwide ? we wait here . Please UN care us.