Laos: Jailed protester against rubber company released, one dead, ten others still detained
Author: Radio Free Asia, Published on: 19 January 2019
"Lao Protest Villager Freed, 10 Still Held", 17 January 2019
Lao authorities have released a villager held since 2017 with a group arrested for protesting the loss of land awarded by the government to a Vietnamese rubber company....
Phonesawai, the fourth villager of the group to be released, was freed without official explanation.... Three other villagers from the group were released in 2018, with another reported to have died in custody last year.
Ten others remain in detention.
In July 2017, 15 residents of Yeub village in Sekong's Thateng district were detained by police for obstructing workers and cutting down trees on land granted by the government to a Vietnamese rubber company in what is believed to have been a 50-year concession.
Several of those now held in detention were beaten or subjected to electric shocks in the days following their arrest, and many are now malnourished and in failing health....
...Land grabs and the appropriation of public property to turn over to foreign and domestic companies are common in Laos, and villagers affected by them often refuse to speak out publicly because they fear retribution.