Laotians campaign for democracy and the release of political prisoners, 1999-2003
Laos has been a socialist republic governed by the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) since December 2, 1975. The government controls the country’s news output and restricts the people’s rights to expression, assembly, and protest. Dissent is not permitted and coercion and torture are still prevalent in the prison system. Laos has not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) or the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).