Thai authorities must release 22 Bang Kloi Karen and drop all forest encroachment charges
6 MARCH 2021
On 6 March 2021, Manushya Foundation, Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), ENLAWTHAI Foundation (ENLAW), Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA), Northern Development Foundation (NDF) and Union for Civil Liberty (UCL) released a joint statement condemning Thai park authorities detaining twenty-two indigenous Karen peoples - including women and a disabled person.
Since 22 February 2021, Kaeng Krachan National Park authorities have forcibly moved around 100 villagers from their homes in the Bang Kloi - Jai Pandin high land, accusing them of encroaching on the forest.
But the community - known Bang Kloi Bon Karen - has refused to leave an area they have called home for over a century and a Petchaburi court issued an arrest warrant for them leading to the detention of 22 in Phetchaburi Central Prison.
We urge Thai park authorities to immediately release the detained villagers and end their judicial harassment over rights to ancestral lands.