Disappearance of Lao social activist triggers concern
BANGKOK (AP) - A respected social activist has gone missing in Laos, and a colleague involved in the search for him said on Tuesday that he saw evidence that police had taken him into custody.
A statement issued on behalf of 61 Thai nongovernmental organisations said Sombath Somphone disappeared on Saturday afternoon in the Lao capital, Vientiane, where friends last saw him getting into his car to drive home from the development agency he founded.
Laos has an authoritarian government with little tolerance for dissent, but friends and associates said Mr Sombath's work was not directly political.
"He deals with business and education. His work isn't the type that would have created enemies," said Suntaree Hathi Sengging of the Thai NGO Coordinating Committee on Development.