Lao People's Democratic Republic: Update on "re-education"
AI's continuing concern about 33 political prisoners detained without charge or trial in Houa Phanh province is reported here. The prisoners were sent to Houa Phanh province more than 15 years ago for "re-education", because of their positions in the Laotian government and are said to be currently restricted to the Sop Pan area. AI is disturbed by allegations of attempts by local security personnel to extract bribes from the detainees by threatening them with continued detention; other reports suggest that Sop Pan authorities have attempted to prevent the release of individuals by fabricating criminal charges against them. The wives of some restrictees were reportedly sexually abused by police and one restrictee was allegedly assaulted in his home in February 1991.