Khamphouvieng Sisa-At—Human rights defender

On May 25, 2004, the Observatory was informed by the Lao Movement for Human Rights (LMHR) of the death of Khamphouvieng Sisa-At, one of the leaders of the “Lao Students Movement for Democracy of 26 October 1999,” a group that organized a peaceful march on October 26, 1999, in Vientiane, to denounce social injustice and to call for the respect of human rights and democratic reforms in Laos.

According to the information received, Mr. Khamphouvieng Sisa-At died in late 2001 as a result of the mistreatment he endured while in detention in Samkhe prison, which is located in a suburb of Vientiane. He reportedly died after being exposed to heat for a long period of time. Although Laotian authorities had been concealing Mr Khamphouvieng Sisa-At’s death, information about it emerged this past May following the release of co-detainees who had witnessed his death.

Khamphouvieng Sisa-At was arrested in October 1999, along with other four members of the “Lao Students Movement for Democracy of 26 October 1999”. The Observatory addressed their case in an open letter to Laotian authorities dated August 20, 2003. However, the authorities never provided clear information regarding the situation of the five human rights defenders.


Letter written June 7, 2004 by Monique Pongracic-Speier, member of LRWC.