Katin Village Officials Expelled 15 Believers (7 Seven Families) from Their Homes Due to Christian Faith

Katin Village, Ta-Oyl District, Saravan Province
Advocacy Alert No. 04/2010
December 24, 2010

Approximately 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 23, 2010 (Lao time), the Katin village chief along with the village religious affair official, village elders, village military, and village security force, and non-Christian villagers displayed force by carrying guns, went into homes of the Katin believers and threatened them. Afterward, the officials forced them to walk an intersection outside the village and then blocked them from ever returning to their homes if they do not recant of their Christian faith. The expulsion of these seven Katin Christian families, consisting of 15 believers, came as a result of the officials’ earlier threat made about two months ago by the Katin chief (Mr. Amyan) and the head of village religious affairs (Mr. Yuey) on October 26-27 due to the Christians continuing to exercise their religious freedom and holding on to their Christian faith.

These expelled 15 believers have reported the expulsion incident to the Ta-Oyl district’s religious affairs, but there has been no response thus far.

Being left without homes, the seven Christian families now seek temporary shelters with the eleven families who were evicted by gunpoint last January (2010).

The Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF) calls on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, US State Department, UK Foreign Office, and European Commission and Secretariat to exercise its power and responsibilities to hold the Lao government accountable for these religious violations and grant the Katin believers the religious right that is guaranteed by the Lao constitution, the Lao Decree 92, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the right to live in their village as guaranteed by the Lao laws. In addition, HRWLRF calls on the Lao government to cease all forms persecution against Katin believers and compensate them for all losses incurred due to their expulsion.

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