Laos: Joint Open Letter on Repeal of Decree on Associations
Nine organizations call for the immediate repeal or significant amendment of the Decree on Associations No. 238 of 2017. The Decree gives government authorities sweeping powers that enable arbitrary restriction or denial of fundamental rights, including the power to unreasonably control and/or prohibit the formation of associations; arbitrarily broad powers to inspect, monitor and curtail the activities and finances of associations; power to order dissolution of associations on arbitrary grounds and without right of appeal; and powers to discipline associations and individual members on arbitrary grounds. It includes measures to criminalize unregistered associations and prosecute their members.