The U.S State Department's report says the Lao Government's human rights record remained poor in 2003 and it continued to commit serious abuses.
Members of the security forces abused detainees, espacially those suspected of insurgent or anti-government activity.
Prisoners were sometimes abused and tortured, and prison conditions generally were extremely harsh and life threatening. Police used arbitary arrest, detention and surveillance. Lengthy pretrial detention and incommunicado detention were problems.
Click on our audio file above to hear more of Part 1 of the U.S State Department's report on Laos' human rights practice.