Wanchalearm Satsaksit’s disappearance remains a mystery after 3 years
Countless activists have forcibly disappeared due to their courageous acts of openly criticizing their governments, yet their absence remains a mystery. One of them is notably a prominent Thai activist and critic of the Thai government and monarchy Wanchalearm Satsaksit, who vanished three years ago on June 4, 2020. While living in exile in Cambodia, he got abducted by a group of unidentified men after posting a video criticizing the Thai prime minister.
“I can’t breathe” – his last words while being on the phone with his sister during the abduction.
Therefore, three years later, Wanchalearm is still missing. Unforu His family and friends have no closure and received no explanation from state officials.
At Manushya, we are deeply concerned about the oppressive measures taken by governments to silence critical voices and scare people into concealing the truth. Wanchalearm is not the only victim of violence against HRDs, journalists, lawyers, and pro-democracy activists who fight for human rights.
🕯️Sombath Somphone disappeared almost 11 years ago–his memory prevails but there is no closure for the family.
🕯️Somchai Neelpaijit was abducted 19 years ago–his wife is still waiting for justice.
Thailand can prevent this! The Act on Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance has been enacted, yet the authoritarian government kept delaying its full implementation.
In the most recent attempt, the Prayut Chan-o-cha Cabinet attempted to postpone Articles 22 and 25 until October 2023 on the premise that the police need more time to implement changes. However on May 18, 2023, The Constitutional Court asserted that postponing the act towards the end of 2023 is unconstitutional and, as a result, the police must now enforce the Act in its entirety!
We are hoping that, in the light of the recent Thai election which saw a democratic party win, and with the new ruling of the Constitutional Court, Thailand will start implementing appropriate investigative measures and prevent further acts of abduction.
🤝 Manushya stands in solidarity with Wanchalearm’s family, friends, and all victims of enforced disappearances.
Justice for Wanchalearm!
#WeAreManushyan ♾️ Equal Human Beings
Have a look at our previous work defending human rights and promoting democracy ⤵️
Joint Statement 'Laos: After 10 years, civil society worldwide is still asking: “Where is Sombath?”,' December 13, 2022
Thailand UPR III Factsheet on Torture and Enforced Disappearances, September 9, 2021
Joint Press Release 'Thailand: Until Enforced Disappearance Is A Crime Under Thai Law,
We Are All At Risk of Disappearing #ItCouldBeYou,' August 30, 2021
Joint Statement 'One Year Later, No Credible Investigation into the Enforced Disappearance of Wanchalearm Satsaksit,' June 4, 2021
Joint Statement 'Cambodia/Laos/Thailand/Vietnam: Address enforced disappearances, deliver justice for the victims and their families,' August 30, 2020
Joint Statement 'Civil society groups urge Laos, Thailand to investigate enforced disappearances, reveal fate of Sombath Somphone and Od Sayavong,' December 15, 2019
Manushya Foundation, #WhereIsSombath: 10 long years since Sombath Somphone’s enforced disappearance, (December 14, 2022), available at: https://www.manushyafoundation.org/post/whereissombath-10-long-years-since-sombath-somphone-s-enforced-disappearance
ThaiPBS World, Wife of human rights lawyer Somchai is still waiting for truth and justice, (March 12, 2023), available at: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/wife-of-human-rights-lawyer-somchai-is-still-waiting-for-truth-and-justice/
Human Rights Watch, Thailand: Law on Torture, ‘Disappearance’ Delayed, (February 15, 2023), available at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/02/15/thailand-law-torture-disappearance-delayed
The Nation Thailand, Court annuls decree delaying enforcement of torture, disappearance law, (May 18, 2023), available at: https://www.nationthailand.com/thailand/general/40027769
Prachatai English, Constitutional Court blocks Decree postponing anti-torture act, (May 19, 2023), available at: https://prachataienglish.com/node/10372
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