Three Lao-Americans From Minnesota Missing in Laos
February 28, 2012 (Revised and Updated), Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Bangkok, Thailand
For Immediate Release
The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and the United Lao for Democracy and Human Rights, Inc. (ULDHR) have
expressed concern about reports that three Laotian-Americans from Minnesota are missing in Laos.
Mr. Souli Kongmalavong, Mr. Bounma Phannhotha and Mr. Bounthie Insixiengmai of the Twin Cities-area of Minnesota have
reportedly gone missing in Laos..
“The Lao and Hmong-American community in Minnesota and across the United States is very concerned about the reports that
three Laotian-American citizens have disappeared in Laos,” said Boon Boualaphanh, President of the ULDHR in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. “We are deeply worried that, based upon some reports, they may have been wrongly detained or arrested by the
Lao military or secret police.
“We are calling on the U.S. Embassy in Laos to find these missing Americans and return them to their families, if they
are alive,“ Mr. Boualaphanh stated. “We are appealing for a full investigation as to what in happening to Lao and Hmong
Americans who continue to disappear in Laos.”
“We have received disturbing reports from Laos, and the Laotian community in the United States that three more
Lao-American citizens have disappeared in Laos under mysterious and troubling circumstances apparently involving the
secret police and the Lao military,” said Philip Smith, Executive Director of the CPPA in Washington, D.C. http://www.centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org
Smith continued: “The three Lao-American from Minnesota were last seen in Laos on January 6th and appear to have gone
missing under mysterious circumstance involving the Lao secret police and military who, by some accounts, reportedly
arrested the group ; We have received a number of preliminary and credible reports that the three Americans may have
been met with violence and deadly force by the Lao police and military when traveling in the Keng Kok area of
Savannakhet Province, Laos.”
“Unfortunately, the Lao military and security forces are systemically corrupt and are notorious for their recent acts of
political violence, religious persecution and brutal oppression of their own citizens,” Smith stated. “In recent years,
the Lao military and secret police have also been involved with the arrest and detention of Lao and Hmong-American
citizens from Minnesota, Wisconsin and elsewhere, including Hakit Yang, Pastor Naw Karl Moua, Houa Le, Michael Vang and
“In light of the recent abduction in Laos by the secret police of the high level Laotian civic activist Sombath Somphone
in December of last year, and the failure of the Lao government to address this matter, we are very concerned about the
disturbing reports that we continue to receive about the fate of the three Lao-Americans from Minnesota who are missing
in Laos,” Smith said. “We are calling upon U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. Ambassador to Laos to raise
this matter with the highest levels of the Lao government and urge a full accounting regarding the three Lao-Americans,
so that justice can be served, and they may be returned to their families in Minnesota.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) has issued a recent report regarding the disappearance of the there Americans. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/disappearance-02272013181425.html