Laos government bans online criticism
Share this on

Laos government bans online criticism

The Bangkok Post (technically it is Reuters):

Communist Laos has issued a decree outlawing online criticism of policies of the ruling party or government, state media reported, the latest Southeast Asian country to enact strict internet controls.

According to legislation approved by Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong last week, web users will face criminal action for spreading “false” information aimed at discrediting the government, the official KPL news agency said.

It added users must also use their real names when setting up social media accounts.

Internet service providers could face action for making “available conditions” for any individual or group that had intentions of “tarnishing the party and government’s guidelines and policy”, KPL said.

….

The Lao decree bans “disseminating or circulating untrue information for negative purposes against the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and the Lao government, undermining peace, independence, sovereignty, unity and prosperity of the country,” according to KPL.

BP: The article draws a link with Vietnam, but wording is very similar to that of the Thai junta. If Thailand can mostly get away with these restrictions and backsliding on freedom of speech then perhaps, the Laos government thinks it will be able to do so to. Thailand was once a beacon of freedom of speech and democracy.