Missing activist’s family files complaint with Cambodian authorities

The family of missing activist in exile Wanchalearm Satsaksit has filed a complaint with the Cambodian authorities calling for legal proceedings against the group of armed people who abducted Wanchalearm.

Wanchalearm Satsaksit

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported that the family’s lawyer in Cambodia informed Wanchalearm’s sister Sitanun yesterday (8 July) that the Prosecution Unit attached to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has accepted their complaint and request to launch an investigation and legal proceedings against Wanchalearm’s kidnappers.

TLHR also reported that the family’s lawyers in both Thailand and Cambodia previously faced difficulties with the paperwork and that the Covid-19 situation has made it difficult to them to travel. Sitanun also previously mentioned that the family had a difficult time finding a local lawyer in Cambodia to represent them due to the high cost and because some lawyers have withdrawn from the case as they did not want to take the risk.

The family also filed a complaint with the Cambodian Ministry of Interior on 3 July and with the Cambodian Ministry of Justice on 8 July, both of which have been accepted.

“I’m doing everything to find my little brother. I want an answer about what happened,” Sitanun said at an event organized by the family and Amnesty International Thailand on Saturday (4 July), one month after Wanchalearm went missing. “No matter what condition he’s in, I want him back safe. I want confirmation. If he’s dead, I want to know. I want to have him back for religious rites. No matter where he is, I want to bring him home.”

“Please let Ta go. No matter what condition he’s in, I only want him to be safe. If he’s dead, please confirm that he is dead, or my family and I will not be able to continue living. We don’t know how long we are going to have to keep searching. Of the 8 refugees who went missing previously, only 2 bodies were found. We don’t know with the fate of the rest. If Wanchalearm is alive, then release him. If he’s dead, then tell us that he is dead,” Sitanun said.

Wanchalearm was abducted from in front of his condominium in Phnom Penh on 4 June by a group of armed kidnappers and taken away in a black car. He has now been missing for over 35 days.