30 July 2003


Appeal for release of journalists' guides, one guide manages to escape

Incident details

Thao Moua, Pa Phue Khan, Tha Char Yang

media worker(s)


This is available in:

English Français
(RSF/IFEX) - On 24 July 2003, journalists Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud appealed to Laotian authorities to release Thao Moua and Pa Phue Khan. On 30 June, the two detainees received prison sentences of 12 and 15 years, respectively, for working as guides for the two journalists while they were preparing a documentary in Laos. They are currently imprisoned in Vientiane. A third guide, Tha Char Yang, who managed to escape, was sentenced to 20 years in absentia. Other Laotians are believed to have been arrested in connection with the case, but their names are not known.

Falise and Reynaud maintain that it is unfair to keep the two Laotians of Hmong origin in prison when all they did was work for foreign journalists to try to make the world aware of the humanitarian tragedy of members of the Hmong ethnic group.

The two journalists are concerned about the conditions in which their two Laotian guides are being held. Amnesty International has reported that they have been mistreated by police.


Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris, France
rsf (@) rsf.org

Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
More from Laos
  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Laos

  • Freedom of the Press 2015: Laos

    Ranked 183rd in annual global media freedom report

  • Is no news good news

    Disappearance of prominent community organizer, Sombath a chilling effect on freedom of expression among development community

More from Asia & Pacific


  • The Campaign for Justice: Press Freedom in South Asia 2013-14

    Journalism in South Asia is far from an easy profession, as the 12th annual review of journalism in the region "The Campaign for Justice: Press Freedom in South Asia 2013-14" portrays. But this year's report also tells the story of the courage of South Asia's journalists to defend press freedom and to ensure citizens' right to information and freedom of expression in the face of increasing challenges to the profession and personal safety.

  • THE STORIES WOMEN JOURNALISTS TELL: Women in Media in South Asia

    The report is the first created by the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) looking specifically at the experience of women journalists in the South Asia sub-region