Thongsouk Saysangkhi

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Thongsouk Saysangkhi (sometimes spelt Thongsouk Saysangkhy) was a political prisoner and a former deputy minister of science and technology in the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, a communist political party that has governed Laos since 1975.

In 1990, he was arrested after resigning from the Government and the Party and calling for political and economic change. Also arrested with him were Latsami Khamphoui and Feng Sakchittapong. All three were held without trial for two years, before being sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment.[1]

In his resignation letter to Kaysone Phomvihan, then general secretary of the party's central executive committee and head of state, Thongsouk Saysangkhi said, "I oppose the dictatorial power of personal cliques, which are precisely what the Party and the State apparat are; and I am demanding the holding of free elections, the putting into practice of popular liberties and democracy, and the existence of democratic institutions opposed to the maintenance of a system of communist feudalism and Politburo dynastism. ... The history of humankind has now confirmed that a single-party system relying exclusively on coercion and deception is incapable of ever bringing prosperity and happiness to our people." [2]

According to Amnesty International, Thongsouk Saysangkhi died in prison in February 1998. Amnesty says it was alerted to the poor prison conditions and Thongsouk Saysangkhi's poor state of health, but was told by Lao authorities that all three were well.[3]


  1. ^ Amnesty International (31 May 2000). "Words of a member of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy" (PDF). 
  2. ^ Laos International Human Rights, Inc. (24 June 2010). "Thongsouk Saysangkhi's resignation letter". 
  3. ^ Amnesty International (29 April 1998). "Thongsouk Saysangkhi's death".