Today (11 August 2020), 2 pm, Wanchalearm's family and Amnesty International Thailand request a meeting with H.E. Mr. Ouk Sorphorn, Ambassador of Cambodia to Thailand, to discuss and acknowledge investigation progress related to the enforced disapperance of Wanchalearm Satsaksit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, since 4 June 2020. The family also celebrates Wanchalearm's 38th birthday.
Sitanun Satsaksit (centre) at the Cambodian Embassy earlier today
Piyanut Kotsan, Director of Amnesty International Thailand, states that it has been two months since Wanchalearm has disappeared and there is no progress on his whereabouts either from Thai or Cambodian authority. Prior to this, Amnesty International had issued an urgent action inviting Amnesty members and supporters in Thailand and around the world to sign petition requesting Cambodian authority to start an investigation on Wanchalearm's alleged abduction, inform the family on his fate and whereabouts, as well as bring any person suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in a fair trial. The request also involves Cambodian authority to stay in line with obligations as provided by the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to which Cambodia is a state party.
"After more than two-month collecting signatures, more than 5,000 people joined and signed the petition. We also campaign for our supporters to further submit the petition with requests of actions to Cambodian authority in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Phillippines, Malaysia, United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand etc. until 1 October 2020. We call for an effective, urgent, thorough and transparent investigation to deliver justice for the disappeared's family because this kind of grievance should not happen to anyone"
Sitanun Satsaksit, Wanchalearm's older sister, reveals that it has been more than 60 days that her brother has been missing but her family still lives up a hope and waiting for answers both from Thai and Cambodian authority on Wanchalearm's fate and whereabouts. She also wishes to see bilateral cooperation for criminal investigation and fact-finding. In July, the family has appointed a lawyer in Cambodia for legal affairs in the country and hoping that Cambodian authority would facilitate a serious investigation and bring Wanchalearm back to safety, tell the truth about the reasons behind his disappearance, and explain who is the perpetrator in order to bring the person to justice.
"When the travel-ban restriction is lifted to enter Cambodia, I will travel there immediately to testify to the prosecutor and police officers as victim of enforced disappearance. Even though the lawyer is appointed there, Cambodian authority also wants to testify the victim further. More than 60 days, our family is waiting for the truth and clarity from both countries. A person is missing and clear evidences indicated that he was enforced or unwillingly abducted. Our family receives no investigation progress for more than two months.” Sitanun said.
The family also takes this occasion to celebrate Wanchalearm's 38th birthday with cake and cookies while sharing them to the Embassy's staffs, police officers, press and pedestrians in front of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia to help calling justice for Wanchalearm and his family. The Cambodian embassy refused to come outside the embassy to receive the petition with signatures. They asked police official of Wang Thonglang police station to receive the document instead. Therefore, the organizer decided to not hand over the petition to the police and will seek other channel to directly reach out to the embassy.