Lao Man, 69, Arrested for Refusing to Give Up Land His Family Has Held Since 1965

An elderly man in Laos was detained last month for refusing to give up land that had been in his family since 1965, family members said.

Thitphay Thammavong, 69, was arrested on September 16 after declining to sign papers that would cede control of his 1.5 hectare plot of land near Viengkham village in Bolikhamsai province’s Pakkading district, so authorities could build a health center on it.

“First he went to the district office [on September 2] to discuss a matter about his land. They pressed him to sign a document to give it up, but he refused,” a member of Thitphay Thammavong’s family told RFA Saturday.

“He was summoned again later [on September 16], but [the second time] he was detained,” said the family member.

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