BANGKOK (AP) - A U.S. admonition to Laos over its shaky human rights record has spurred efforts to halt the possible deportation from Thailand of a former ethnic leader to the authoritarian Southeast Asian nation.
Rights activists said Tuesday that former ethnic Hmong rebel Moua Toua Ter was being held at an immigration detention center in Bangkok, while rights activists made representations on his behalf to the Thai government. They fear he faces persecution if repatriated.
Concern over his fate came after Washington took Laos to task for failing to account for the disappearance of a prominent social activist.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Laos' failure to provide significant information about the case of award-winning activist Sombath Somphone raises questions about the government's commitment to the rule of law.