On 23 Dec 2018, Facebook user Romchalee Sinseubpol, a refugee living in a neighbouring country, published a post saying that Surachai Danwattananusorn (Surachai Saedan), a 75-year-old political activist who fled Thailand after the May 2014 coup, had disappeared from his residence along with 2 other refugees he had been staying with. The last time he made contact through phone calls was on 12 Dec 2018.
The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia is concerned with the lack of progress on the investigation of the enforced disappearance of prominent Karen human rights defender Mr Pholachi “Billy” Rakchongcharoen who has been missing for four years. Billy was last seen when he was arrested by Kaengkrachan Park officials on 17 April 2014 for allegedly possessing illegal bottles of wild honey.
We're talking to Pratubjit Neelapaijit, as the daughter affected by the disappearance of her father Somchai Neelapaijit and the 14 lost years with no return in terms of law, reflecting on the contradictory state of human rights where the state chooses to support some cases, and chooses to arrest only some people. She points out that developing a democratic society is the way out and that all sides have a role in reconciliation. International Women's Day has come around again in March.
Five years after the abduction of the prominent, internationally acclaimed Lao development worker Sombath Somphone by Lao state agents, the Lao government has done very little to find the truth, experts said. Meanwhile, the enforced disappearance of Sombath has raised debates about the Lao government’s ambition to boost its economy through development projects, while it continues to suppress civil rights. 15 December 2017 marks five years since Sombath was last seen by his family.
Almost three years after the disappearance of Billy, the ethnic minority activist, the lives of the Karen in Kaeng Krachan remain in trouble, facing intimidation, drought and displacement.
The Thai government should urgently take the final steps to ratify the international convention against enforced disappearance, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should also end all delays in passing implementing legislation to criminalize torture and disappearances.
After years of campaigning and lobbying by human rights groups, the junta-appointed lawmakers have dropped a bill to criminalise torture and enforced disappearance.
Almost three years after the disappearance of a well-known Karen activist, Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation has refused to accept the case.
The Lao government has made no progress accounting for civil society leader Sombath Somphone, who was forcibly disappeared on December 15, 2012, Human Rights Watch said today. Four years after he was stopped at a police checkpoint in the capital, Vientiane, the government needs to provide information on his fate or whereabouts.
Since seizing power in a 2014 coup, Thailand’s military authorities have allowed a culture of torture and other ill-treatment to flourish across the country, with soldiers and policemen targeting suspected insurgents, political opponents, and individuals from the most vulnerable sections of society, a new report by Amnesty International said today.