Enforced disappearance victims recalled in the song ‘You Know Who’

Composed and re-arranged, with the music video by the Filmmakers for Liberation, the song refers to the situation in Thailand where freedom of expression is suppressed  by ‘You Know Who’ in the classroom and traditional brainwashing.

The one who you know, no one says his name directly
Is there only me who does not understand this sort of thing?

I may be damned into my grave,
but if it removes the chains that bind people, then would it be worth trying?

Do not distort the meaning of the word love by any fear.
Stop waiting for hope from promises when exchanging your soul with the devil.

(Partial lyrics translated from the music)

The re-arranged version with music video was uploaded on YouTube on 3 February 2021. The song is originally composed and made public in 2020 by the Commoner Band, a music band promoting democracy, human rights and state welfare through music.

'You Know Who' could be heard at several pro-democracy protests in 2020 with the lead singer asking crowds to chant the protection spell from Harry Potter novel ‘Expecto Patronum’.

Included in the video are photos and footage of the victims of enforced disappearances from 2016 until the very present in 2020. All of them either fled Thailand after the 2014 coup or from criminal charges that followed their criticisms of the government and the monarchy. 

Photos of real body bags of Kraidej Luelert, or Kasalong, and Chatchan Bupphawan, or Phuchana, self-exiled political activists in Laos who were kidnapped and later found murdered.

Also presented in the music video is Sarinthip Siriwan, a famous actress who mysteriously disappeared in 1987.

Since 2016, at least 9 Thai activists have disappeared while living in self-exile in Southeast Asia. They were the critics of the monarchy and the military government which staged a coup in 2014. Some of them had been charged under the lèse majesté law, Section 112 of the Criminal Code.

Ittipon Sukpan and Wuthipong Kachathamkun, 2 famous red shirt activists, disappeared in Lao PDR in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

On 12 December 2018, Surachai Danwattananusorn (Sae Dan), another famous self-exiled political activist, went missing in Vientiane along with Kraidej and Chatchan. Thai exiles recognized that they had to lay low whenever the Thai and Lao authorities talked about cooperation. But Surachai did not.

Between 26 and 29 December 2018, 2 bodies were washed ashore on the Mekhong River. DNA tests identified them as Kraidet and Chatchan. The internal organs had been removed and replaced with cement and the faces were mutilated. Surachai’s whereabouts remain unknown until now.

On 8 May 2019 the Thai Alliance for Human Rights (TAHR) based in the United States reported that Siam Theerawut, Chucheep Chiwasut and Kritsana Tubthai, 3 activists in exile, were arrested some time earlier and deported from Vietnam. The fate of all three remains unknown as of 6 November. Siam’s family is still looking for him.

On the evening of 4 June 2020, Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a Thai political activist in exile in Phnom Penh, was kidnapped from in front of his condominium. No clues have been found, but Wanchalearm’s family is still looking for him.

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