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Laos 13 June 2003

The Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud Support Committee calls on Laotian authorities to release detained journalists at once

On the initiative of their relatives and colleagues, the Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud Support Committee appeals to the Laotian authorities to release these two detained journalists immediately.

The committee, which is headed by the parents and partners of the two journalists, is very worried about their physical and mental well-being as they have been held in an undisclosed location for more than a week.

The committee also calls on the government of Laos to allow the two journalists to receive visits right away from French and Belgian diplomats, as well as their relatives.

The committee, in which many news media personnel are participating, stresses that Vincent and Thierry are experienced, internationally recognised journalists who respect professional ethics, and that the accusations against them of complicity in a murder are unfounded.

The committee asks the government of Laos to recognise the status of Vincent and Thierry as professional journalists and therefore, as a matter of urgency, to take the necessary measures so that they may be released.

Thierry’s family points out that Thierry has had heart problems and that prolonged detention, repeated interrogation and poor conditions of detention could put his life in danger.

For more information:

From the committee by e-mail at free.falise.reynaud@rsf.org

In Brussels (representing the Falise family) - Guy Deschuyteneer Phone: +32 49 824-5503 and +32 71 361-932 E-mail: guy.deschuyteneer@smd.be

In Strasbourg (representing the Reynaud family) - Annie-Jeanne Reynaud (Vincent’s mother) Phone: + 33 3 8832-4694

In Geneva - Bernard Genier, TSR journalist Phone: +41 79 570-1453 E-mail: bernard.genier@tsr.ch

In Paris - Vincent Brossel, Reporters Without Borders Phone: +33 1 4483-8484 E-mail: asie@rsf.org

In Bangkok - Roland Neveu (journalist) Phone: +66 1 508-7911 E-mail: RN@asiahorizons.com

Background:

Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud are freelance journalists based in Bangkok (Thailand). Thierry, who is Belgian, is a reporter and often contributes to the French weekly L’Express. Vincent, a cameraman, is French. They were arrested at some point between 3 and 5 June in Xieng Khuang province northeast of Vientiane with Rev. Naw Karl Mua, a US citizen of Hmong origin. They had just completed a report on the situation of the Hmong minority.

The appeal’s signatories ( temporary list):

Reynaud family, Falise family, Aporn Phergta (Thierry Falise’s wife), Sutiluck Schmidt (Vincent Reynaud’s partner), Fabienne Keller (Strasbourg’ Mayor), Robert Grossmann (Chairman of Strasbourg Community), Bernard Genier (TSR journalist), Roland Neveu (photographer), Hugues Jardel (Arte journalist), Thomas Renaut (publisher), Michèle Bur (Strasbourg press club chairman), Olivier Nilson (journalist), Didier Eugène, Chairman of former ESJ students, Robert Ménard (Reporters Without Borders secretary-general), The "Télévision Suisse Romande" committee of journalists, producers and assistant producers (Geneva), Darius Rochebin (TSR journalist), Freenews Geneva (TV production company), Magali Girardin (photographer), Arnaud Bédat (journalist), Christophe Loviny (journalist and publisher), Frédéric Delesques (producer), Alexis Nabokov.




In this country
23 June - Laos
Open letter to President Choummaly Sayasone
26 November - Laos
ASEAN Summit - Foreign press urged to expose lack of free expression in Laos and plight of jailed local guides
25 July - Laos
Appeal for the release of the guides of Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud
9 July - Laos
Thierry Falise + Vincent Reynaud Support Committee
8 July - Laos
Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud case: Laotian minister promises "good news" about jailed journalists by 14 July

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