Laos: Detained Christians Released After Six Weeks in Prison Without Charge

Laos: Detained Christians Released After Six Weeks in Prison Without Charge


Four Christians arrested in Luang Namtha province in Laos in June have now been released, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports. The Christians, two of whom were of Thai nationality, were arrested and had their personal belongings confiscated after being caught explaining the Bible to a Lao man in the home of a local Christian. They were detained for six weeks but no formal charges were brought against them. After the police finished their investigation, the Christians were required to pay a small fine and were subsequently released. "CSW welcomes the release of these four men; however, we are concerned that their arrest is part of a pattern of religious repression that continues to occur in many parts of the country," said Mervyn Thomas, CSW's chief executive. "In Luang Namtha province alone, Christians in at least 15 villages have reported similar cases of harassment by the Lao authorities. We urge the Lao authorities to adhere to international standards on religious freedom both at the national and provincial level."

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