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Laos 9 July 2003

Thierry Falise + Vincent Reynaud Support Committee
Free after 35 days in prison

The Support Committee for journalists Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud is greatly relieved at their release from prison along with their interpreter, the Rev. Naw Karl Mua.

The journalists plan to speak to the media but meanwhile ask the Committee to pass on their concern about the fate of their three Laotian guides who were sentenced at the same time as they were and remain in prison.

The Committee warmly thanks everyone - private individuals, journalists, media outlets, community organisations, town councils, politicians, civil servants and diplomats - who helped win their release.

The Committee also thanks the 17,000 people who signed the online petition to free them.

The website www.free-falise-and-reynaud.com includes the petition and a support fund for their families. The final accounts will be put on the site when the case is officially closed.

Background:

Belgian freelance reporter Falise, a regular contributor to the French weekly magazine L’Express, and freelance French cameraman Reynaud were arrested in Xieng Khuang province (northeast of Vientiane) on 4 June along with the Rev. Naw Karl Mua, a US citizen of Hmong origin, and four Laotians. They were completing a report on the plight of the Hmong minority. Their conditions of detention were poor and they were sentenced on 30 June to 15 years in prison for "obstructing authority" in the murder of a militiaman killed in a 4 June shooting. They and their interpreter were released on 9 July.




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
8 July - Laos
Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud case: Laotian minister promises "good news" about jailed journalists by 14 July
7 July - Laos
French visit of Laotian information minister denounced

in the annual report
Laos - Annual report 2008
Laos - Annual report 2007
Laos - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
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Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised