On Monday 27, Ekkachai Hongkangwan, an anti-junta activist, said on Facebook “Someone has ordered me dead.”
In response to a reporter’s question, Ekkachai said a Facebook user sent him a message that someone has ordered him dead, and asked him to leave the country immediately.
However, Ekkachai said he cannot leave because he needs to go to court after being prosecuted for political activism. He also needs to go to hospital for a check-up after being assaulted in front of the Ratchada Criminal Court on 13 May.
The reporter asked whether he, after all these assaults, had requested support from the Witness Protection Bureau. Ekkachai said he filed a request on 2 April. When he followed up, he met only a low-ranking officer who could not inform him of any progress. He asked for a meeting with their superior, but was refused.
Supanut Boonsod, a lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), said going to court can be dangerous for Ekkachai as the activist has been assaulted in front of the court before. The lawyer will consult with TLHR and asked the court for a trial in absentia in order to mitigate the danger to Ekkachai.
Ekkachai has been physically assaulted seven times for opposing people in power, excluding two arson attacks on his car putting it beyond repair.
In 2013, he was imprisoned for 2 years and 8 months for violating the lèse majesté law by selling CDs of an ABC documentary about the then Crown Prince and Wikileaks documents. After his release, Ekkachai has been very active in exposing the junta’s corruption and calling for the election which was held in March.