A Lao friend of mine revealed that he had been put in prison for a month during the 1980s. The story goes that his sister in law was put in gaol in a prison in northern Laos. A local police officer did not like her, and I’m told that’s all that was needed to put her away. My friend went up to visit her and see if he could help. When he got their they released her and instead put him in gaol. He spent a month there and nearly died. Luckily his niece was a doctor and helped to look after him. He said that several of his family members had been to gaol, including his sister-in-law, him, his brother and his niece. I gathered it was all over the same incident. His factory manager helped get him released through contacts within the government.

I asked him if it’s as easy to be put in gaol right right now if somebody doesn’t like you. He said it is better now as they have more regulations and the police know the regulations. In Vientiane it is okay, but he’s not sure about further out in the country side.