Anti-junta Facebooker abducted by military: Human rights lawyers

The Thai military have abducted the administrator of an anti-junta Facebook page who has been reported missing since last week, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR).

TLHR on Monday, 14 March 2016, issued a public statement, urging the authorities to immediately release Sarawut Bamrungkittikhun, the administrator of the Facebook page ‘Poet Praden’ (Open Issues).

TLHR reported in the statement that about 30 military and police officers on 9 March 2016 arrested Sarawut at his home in Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand before taking him to an unknown location.

At press time, his current whereabouts are still unknown.

Under the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 3/2015, security officers can detain individuals for a maximum period of seven days without issuing an arrest warrant or revealing the location of the detention facility.  

The human rights lawyer in the statement denounced the order, pointing out that it is arbitrary and is a serious violation of human rights guaranteed under International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Thailand is a state party. 

TLHR added that such measures also go against the International Covenant for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED), which Thailand has signed, but not ratified.

BBC Thai reported earlier on Sunday, 13 March 2016, that Col Piyapong Klinphan, Deputy Head of the Public Relations Centre of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), announced that the authorities did not know about Sarawut’s alleged disappearance.

Col Piyapong said that he did not know at the time whether or not Sarawut had been taken by the military for a so-called ‘attitude adjustment’ session.

The officer added that under normal procedures, the NCPO is open when it wants to summon individuals for attitude adjustment sessions. He implied that there are, however, exceptions.

Sarawut Bamrungkittikhun (Photo from Sarawut's facebook profile)