Three Italians, a Belgian and a Russian were arrested for staging a pro-democracy demonstration and handing out leaflets in Vientiane. Officials suggested that they would spend at least a couple of weeks in custody, a reminder that taking overt political action in other countries has its risks. The arrested individuals were part of the Brussels-based Transnational Radical Party, an organization composed of activists from 43 countries whose aim, in this instance, was to raise awareness in the European Union of the suppression of freedom and human rights in Laos. It was the first such demonstration in Laos since 1975.