The Lao authorities should lift all restrictions on journalists and allow them to do their job and move freely, Amnesty International said today.
The organization’s call comes as foreign journalists arriving in Laos to cover USA President Barack Obama’s participation in the US-ASEAN Summit from 6-8 September have been told that their articles and broadcasts will have to be approved by a censor before publication.
Foreign journalists may also be assigned a minder who will trail them for the duration of their stay in Laos.
“The restrictions imposed on journalists covering the ASEAN summit in Laos amounts to a violation of their right freedom of expression, and the right of the public, both in Lao and globally, to receive information. Journalists should be able to do their job without fear, interference or harassment,” said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.
Journalists travelling to Laos have told Amnesty International that they may not be allowed to raise questions on certain human rights issues by the authorities.