Jailed Lao Activist Silenced by Government, but Continues to Inspire

Laos says women are now more respected and protected on International Women’s Day Monday, but the words might ring hollow to Houayheuang Xayabouly, who languishes in jail more than a year after her arrest for a Facebook post complaining about the communist government’s failure to respond to a flooding emergency.

Houayheuang Xayabouly, better known by her nickname Mouay, was arrested Sept. 12, 2019, a week after she published videos critical about the government’s inability to rescue people from flooding in the country’s southern Champassak and Salavan provinces. The delayed government response had left many Lao villagers stranded and cut off from help, she said in the video, which was viewed more than 150,000 times.

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RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Eugene Whong.