Five Christian leaders falsely accused of murder
The NGO HRWLRF reported that the arrest is aimed at "decapitating" the Christian communities of the province in order to prevent the spread of the Christian faith.
Five Christian leaders in the province of Savannakhet have been arrested on false accusations of killing a Christian woman, who died naturally on June 22 after two years of illness.
The woman, Mrs Chan, had converted to Christianity in April. The five leaders of Christian communities in local villages had visited the woman to comfort her and pray during the last hours of her life.
The NGO Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF) reported that the arrest is aimed at "decapitating" the Christian communities of the province in order to prevent the spread of the Christian faith.
In a blatant violation of religious freedom, the village chief prevented a Christian funeral and burial of the body. He had the body buried in the local cemetery following Buddhist rites. The deceased woman’s family of eight children, who also had converted, and other five Christian families of the village were forced to attend the Buddhist ritual.
Police detained the five local Christian leaders who wanted to attend the funeral. They have been accused of murder and risk being held in prison for a long time.
All the five Christian leaders – Mrs Kaithong of Saisomboon, Mr Puphet of Donpalai village, Mr Muk of Huey village, Hasadee of Bunthalay village and Mr Tiang – are still in prison, HRWLRF reported.
"The authorities are looking for every possible pretext, in order to stop the spread of the Christian faith in the area," said HRWLRF statement.
The NGO demanded the immediate release of the five innocent people and urged the Lao government to respect the right of all citizens to freedom of religion and to ensure legality and the rule of law.
Source: Agenzia Fides