After being attacked by Thai ultra-royalists who who resented the UNHCR for the alleged role in givingถ a lese majeste suspect refugee status, the Thailand’s branch of UNHCR closed down its facebook fan page.
The ‘UNHCR Thailand’ fan page is inaccessible after the organizations were attacked and threatened on social media over the agency’s role in giving refugee status to a redshirt political activist Ekapop L., (aka. Tang Achiwa), who is warranted for lese majeste since early 2014.
Ekapop fled to Cambodia shortly after he was accused of defaming the monarchy when he spoke at a red-shirt gathering at Rajamangala Stadium in eastern Bangkok in late 2013 and was later granted a refugee status from the UNHCR. He is now living in exile in New Zealand with his wife.
After it was revealed that that the UNHCR fan page is closed, V for Thailand, an ultra-royalist facebook page, posted the message status says “The next measure is to pressure the UNHCR to get out of Thailand”.
Meanwhile, Suriyasai Katasila, a former leading member of the pro-establishment now-defunct People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), also posted on his facebook profile on Tuesday “The act of using the long established credibility of the organization [UNHCR] to grant a refugee status to Tang Achiwa is an unbelieveable mistake. Even though it was the Cambodian branch of UNHCR, but there are undeniable effects on the Thai UNHCR.”
Earlier, on the facebook page titled ‘Million Names Against Amnesty, another pro-junta political Facebook page, many royalists claimed that they have cancelled monthly donations to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and many more claimed on the Facebook Page that that they will also do the same.
Hundred of hate comments from the Thai royalists were also showered the page:
“If you don't answer why you helped Tang to get refugee status ... I'll go and destroy the [UNHCR] donation booths and slap the staff. F** UNHCRThailand"
“UNHCR, you have been staying under the graciousness of the King of Thailand, but when people insult and defame the owner of this country, do you assist these wrong-doers instead?.”
Moreover, the ultra-royalist Rubbish Collection Organization also issued a statement condemning the UNHCR, saying that Thai political refugees are using the UNHCR to undermine Thailand and the Thai monarchy.
On last Sunday, the UNHCR Thailand Facebook page responded to the attack by posting "The UN Refugee Agency is a humanitarian and non-political organisation."
On Wednesday, the UNHCR Thailand spokesperson told the BBC that the page is tempolarily closed for maintainance.