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Amnestry Accuses Laos of Torture - 2002-07-26

The human rights organization, Amnesty International, has issued a report (Friday) that accuses the government in Laos of torturing and denying prisoners medical care. But the Lao government denies the charges.

In its latest report, Amnesty International accuses Laos of routinely denying prisoners basic human rights by using torture and by withholding medical care. The Amnesty report also says the Lao judicial system is arbitrary and holds suspects without proper court hearings. As an example of judicial abuses in Laos, Amnesty International cites the case of a French citizen who died in prison last year, after being refused medical treatment for chest pains. But a spokesman for the Lao Foreign Ministry calls the Amnesty report "nonsense," and says Laos has no reason to mistreat prisoners.