Nothing changes in Laos. The press, under the direct control of the Ministry of Information and Culture, serves up the propaganda of the sole party. Only the English-language Vientiane Times and French-language Le Rénovateur occasionally carry news that diverges from the official line. A majority of the people gets its news from Thai or international radio that put out programmes in Lao.

The security forces try to stop the foreign press from coming into contact with the isolated groups of Hmong guerrillas. A report put out in 2005 by France 2 produced a wave of sympathy for these peoples who have been decimated by the Laos army. Broadcast of this programme by TV5 was interrupted in Laos.

Two Hmong are still imprisoned in Vientiane for having served as guides in 2003 to Belgian journalist Thierry Falise and French cameraman Vincent Reynaud. Thao Moua and Pa Phue Khang were sentenced on 30 June 2003 for "obstructing justice" and "possession of arms" after a trial condemned as unfair by Amnesty International to 12 and 20 years in prison.


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