Missing activist’s sister included on police watchlist

Sitanun Satsaksit, sister of missing activist in exile Wanchalearm Satsaksit, was included on a police special ‘red level’ watchlist, said the Cross-Cultural Foundation (CrCF) today (22 April).

Sitanun Satsaksit

The CrCF said that a document was released on Monday (18 April) containing a list of people who are on the police’s list of “Special surveillance subjects (red level)”. The list included Sitanun and another activist, and the CrCF speculated that the list was compiled by a national security agency and sent to provincial police in order to have these people monitored.

Sitanun’s brother Wanchalearm went missing on 4 June 2020 while living in exile in Cambodia. For the past two years, Sitanun has been calling for justice for him. She has submitted petitions to government agencies and joining pro-democracy protests to campaign against enforced disappearance.

She is currently facing 2 charges of violating the Emergency Decree for speaking about her brother’s disappearance at a protest in September 2021 and for joining a group of other activists to submit a petition on human rights violations in Thailand to UN representatives in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Wanchalearm’s fate remains unknown and no progress has been made in the investigation into his disappearance.

The CrCF said that the watchlist is unlawful and a violation of Sitanun’s privacy and safety, and its lawyer, acting on behalf of Sitanun, will be sending a letter to police headquarters requesting an investigation into which agency complied the document, what its purpose is, and what the agency in question intend to do with Sitanun.

The request also asked the police to investigate whether the document has been sent to the local police near Sitanun’s residence, and if police headquarters is involved in the document’s compilation and in monitoring her activities, they must immediately cease their actions.

The CrCF called on the authorities to stop the legal prosecution of Sitanun, who is a human rights defender and is currently facing charges for participating in pro-democracy protests and demonstrations to call for justice for her brother. It also said that it will be sending copies of the letter to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC); the parliament Standing Committee on legal affairs, justice, and human rights; and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR).

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