Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam See Continued Rights Abuses, Restrictions on Free Expression: Report

Lao, Cambodia, and Vietnam imposed serious restrictions on freedom of expression and the press over the last year, with all three countries also holding political prisoners and interfering with the rights of citizens to peacefully protest, according to an annual State Department report released on Tuesday.

Cases of arbitrary arrest, unlawful killings, and torture in police custody were also reported during the year, the State Department said in its annual report to the U.S. Congress on the human rights record of countries around the world.

In Laos, the ruling party’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications issued instructions in August warning social media users against posting content or comments criticizing the country’s government, and “articles or comments on articles critical of the government suddenly disappeared from social media sites,” according to the report.

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Richard Finney