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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Rights Group Says Thai Dissident Was Abducted From the Street in Front of His Apartme

    (BANGKOK) — A Thai dissident has been abducted in Cambodia, a human rights group said Friday, raising concern that a mysterious campaign targeting exiles for disappearance or death may have been revived.


    Armed men snatched Wanchalearm Satsaksit off the street in front of his apartment in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh late Thursday afternoon, Human Rights Watch said Friday, citing witnesses and a security video at the building. He was then bundled into a black car that drove away.


    Cambodia denied any abduction had taken place and said no investigation was planned.


    An arrest warrant issued in 2018 alleged Wanchalearm violated the Computer Crime Act by operating a Facebook page from Phnom Penh critical of the Thai government, the rights group said.
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    “At that time, senior Thai police officers vowed to bring Wanchalearm back to Thailand one way or another,” its statement said.


    Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, an activist from the same political circle who spent seven years in prison for the crime of insulting the monarchy, gave The Associated Press a secondhand account of Thursday’s incident.


    Somyot said Wanchalearm was talking on his phone and walking to buy snacks at a nearby mini-mart when he was abducted. The other person on the phone call “heard noises, a commotion,” men speaking possibly in a foreign language and Wanchalearm saying he couldn’t breathe, according to Somyot, who heard the account from the second person on the phone call.


    She said a friend of Wanchalearm saw security camera footage of armed men taking Wanchalearm into a black car.




    At least eight Thai exiles were abducted in Laos in 2016-2018, and the bodies of several were later found floating in the Mekong River.


    Those disappearances raised suspicions they had been kidnapped by a death squad, either vigilantes or officially sanctioned.


    The victims were associated with the Red Shirt political movement that staged aggressive street protests in Bangkok in 2010 that were violently crushed by the military. From exile, they had continued propagating anti-government statements, mostly over the internet.


    Thailand’s government and military have denied involvement in the the disappearances in Laos. Thailand was ruled by the military from a 2014 army coup until last year, when elections installed a government headed by the same former army commander who staged the coup and led the military regime.


    A Cambodian police spokesman denied any knowledge of Wanchalearm being kidnapped and said since no abduction had taken place, no investigation would be done.


    “Since this morning I have received about 50 calls asking me about this news but replying to them all the same…I said this is fake news, untrue news,” Gen. Chhay Kim Khouen said.


    Human Rights Watch had called for an urgent investigation.


    While some Thai dissidents managed to obtain political asylum in Western countries, others who lacked connections, documentation and funds were stuck after fleeing to Laos and Cambodia. Some tried to keep doing political work over the internet, while others preferred to keep a low profile.


    All live in limbo because of the transactional nature of Thailand’s relations with its neighbors, who might regard it advantageous to hand over the fugitives.

    Rights Group Says Another Thai Dissident Was Abducted | Time

  2. #2
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Perhaps revived in the public sphere as an attentive news item for the likes of suspicious and hypocritical outfits as HRW.
    The secretive disappearance policies have been strongly in place and practiced for ages.

    Nothing new.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Perhaps revived in the public sphere as an attentive news item for the likes of suspicious and hypocritical outfits as HRW.
    The secretive disappearance policies have been strongly in place and practiced for ages.

    Nothing new.
    Not new. But not nice.
    One wonders if there might be any connection betwen this and China's extraordinary rendition of the HK bookseller from Thailand

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quick phone call from one dictator to the other is all it takes.

    Matey boy is probably already up to his neck in riverbed wearing a pair of concrete doc martins.

  5. #5
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    Due to the Cambodian denials of an abduction taking place, it would seem it was officially sanctioned. We'll have to see if the guy turns up - dead or alive - to be sure.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Rights Groups Call for Probe in Thai Activist’s Kidnapping in Cambodia

    A Thai political activist was snatched from the streets of Cambodia’s capital in broad daylight, human rights groups alleged on Friday, as they urged authorities to investigate the case amid a spate of abductions of Thai exiles in Southeast Asian countries.


    In Bangkok, a spokesman for Thai national police said the agency was not involved in the disappearance in Phnom Penh of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, 37, while Cambodian police on Friday dismissed the report of his abduction as “fake news.”


    The activist who had fled to Cambodia from Thailand, where he was wanted by authorities, apparently was abducted by gunmen on Thursday afternoon as he talked to his sister on a phone, she told BenarNews, adding he said that he couldn’t breathe as their call ended abruptly.


    “The Cambodian authorities must urgently investigate Wanchalearm’s alleged abduction in order to establish his whereabouts. The Thai authorities must also confirm whether Wanchalearm was arrested at their request,” Amnesty International said in a statement issued Friday.


    “This would not be the first time that Thai citizens have vanished after expressing their political opinions. Wanchalearm is outspoken on social media – his sudden disappearance in a violent incident is deeply alarming,” the London-based watchdog group said.


    Krisana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman for Thailand’s national police bureau, said the Thai government was unaware of who was behind the activist’s alleged kidnapping.


    “As far as I know, he was wanted for breeching Computer Crimes Act since 2018: [We] don’t know who abducted him,” Krisana told BenarNews by phone.


    “In regard to fugitives abroad, the national police bureau cooperates with respective countries to find them. We treat each fugitive equally. It depends on how other countries handle them,” Krisana said.


    A friend of Wanchalearm who lives in Phnom Penh learned that surveillance footage showed him being abducted from in front of his condominium and being driven away in a black SUV, according to Prachatai, a Thai news portal. Prachatai said a security guard tried to help Wanchalearm, but his kidnappers were armed.


    A Cambodian police spokesman denied any knowledge of Wanchalearm being kidnapped and said that since no abduction had taken place, no investigation would be done, according to the Associated Press.


    “Since this morning I have received about 50 calls asking me about this news but replying to them all the same ... I said this is fake news, untrue news,” Gen. Chhay Kim Khouen said.


    “We don’t know about it, so what should we investigate,” he told Agence France-Presse separately.


    Although Cambodian police said there was no abduction, Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin said authorities in his country were investigating information they had received.


    “I believe that authorities are investigating on the case. Human rights organizations should not hurry and jump to conclusions over this incident without information and no foundation,” he told the Khmer Service of Radio Free Asia (RFA), a sister agency of BenarNews.


    Under surveillance


    Since a 2014 military coup that toppled the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra, at least 104 people have fled Thailand over fears of prosecution, according to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, a local NGO.


    At least 98 people were charged with violating the strict royal defamation law known as Lese-Majeste, and 119 others were charged with sedition, according to iLaw, an online legal advocate group. Authorities also have filed charges under the Computer Crimes Act.


    New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Wanchalearm was charged under the act for allegedly operating a Facebook page in Cambodia critical of the Thai government.


    “The abduction of a prominent Thai political activist on the streets of Phnom Penh demands an immediate response from Cambodian authorities,” Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director, said in a statement Friday. “The Cambodian government should urgently act to locate Wanchalearm and ensure his safety.”


    HRW accused Cambodia and Thailand of collaborating to “harass, arbitrarily arrest and forcibly return exiled dissidents in violation of international law.” It said Wanchalearm previously told HRW officials that he occasionally had been put under surveillance by Thai officials in Cambodia.


    'Line cut off'


    The activist’s sister, Sitanan Satsaksit, said she regularly talked to him. Their last call occurred around 5 p.m. Thursday.


    “While I was talking with my younger brother, Ta (his nickname) screamed: ‘Argh! Can’t breathe,’ and then we had the line cut off,” she told BenarNews.


    Sitanan said she was concerned that Wanchalearm had become less careful during his time in Phnom Penh, and that may have led to his abduction.


    “I talked to him every day on general life matters and business. I told him to stop talking politics and just focus on business. It seemed he followed my advice, but he became less cautious,” she said.


    Wanchalearm has been identified by HRW as a prominent pro-democracy activist affiliated with the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), known as the “Red Shirts.” He founded the Facebook page “Ku Tong Dai 100 Lan Jak Thaksin Nae” (I must get 100 million baht from Thaksin for sure).


    The Facebook page’s posting on June 3 used derogatory language to criticize Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, the former army chief who led the 2014 coup that overthrew Yingluck’s government.


    “Thaksin” refers to Thaksin Shinawatra, the billionaire former Thai prime minister who leads the Red Shirts and who like his sister, Yingluck, was driven from office by a military coup.


    Anti-monarchists


    The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights reported that anti-monarchists aligned with Thaksin and his family had fled Thailand over the years, with some ending up in Laos and Vietnam as well, adding that with this latest disappearance, at least nine had gone missing or been found dead.


    HRW identified three people who went missing in Laos and were found dead in the Mekong River – Itthipol Sukpaen, who was last seen in June 2016, Wuthipong Kachathamakul, who was last seen in July 2017, and Surachai Danwattananusorn who was last seen in 2018.


    In early 2018, the dismembered bodies of Surachai’s associates – Chatcharn Buppawan, 56, and Kraidej Luelert, 46 – were found in the river which separates Thailand and Laos, according to Thai police.


    HRW said Thai police had reported that “the bodies’ hands and feet were bound and their faces smashed beyond recognition. They also both had been disemboweled and stuffed with concrete.”


    Surachai’s fate is not known, his wife said.

    https://www.benarnews.org/english/ne...020171722.html

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Ex-intelligence chief accuses anti-royalists of implicating revered institution in activist’s disappearance

    Former director of Thailand’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Nantiwat Samart, has accused an anti-royalist movement of attempting to link the disappearance of exiled Thai activist Wanchalerm Satsaksit with Thailand’s most revered institution.


    In his Facebook post on Wednesday, the former NIA chief said the movement has resorted feeding distorted information to foreign media and organizations in a way which defames the institution. He demanded the Government respond and consider legal action against the perpetrators.


    He expressed doubt about the exiled activist’s disappearance, asking who would benefit from such a tactic.


    Wanchalerm was reportedly abducted by a group of armed men in front of his apartment in Phnom Penh last Thursday. He has not been heard from ever since. The Cambodian police announced that they will launch an investigation, following a request from the Thai Foreign Ministry.


    Human rights groups, student organizations and the opposition parties have condemned what they allege is the activist’s forced disappearance and urged the Government to investigate the incident.


    Mr. Nantiwat said that some political elements have been trying use the incident to overthrow the Government and to hold Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha accountable for Wanchalerm’s disappearance


    He added that they also tried to draw parallels between Wanchalerm’s case and American George Floyd, who died of suffocation when a Minnesota police officer knelt on his neck while he was under arrest.


    “To put it simply, they want to incite public protests like those in the US, but it didn’t work in Thailand,” said Mr. Nantiwat.


    He insisted that Wanchalerm’s alleged offence of violating the computer crime law was not serious and he should not have fled the country if he was confident that he had done nothing wrong.

    Ex-intelligence chief accuses anti-royalists of implicating revered institution in activist’s disappearance – Thai PBS World

  8. #8
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Oh dear.
    To be expected from the same old groups.

    Rhetoric and distractions extended.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    He insisted that Wanchalerm’s alleged offence of violating the computer crime law was not serious and he should not have fled the country if he was confident that he had done nothing wrong.
    So it was not serious from RTP point of view but other forces may be of different opinion.
    Not much use asking RTP what happened to the guy.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    abducted by gunmen on Thursday
    Gunmen in Cambodia, that's news?

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Gunmen in Cambodia, that's news?
    Yes, armed kidnappings are you dimwit.

    Especially when the host country denies all knowledge of the event and refuses to even investigate.

    I would have thought that would have got all your whackjob needles twitching.

    I'm just surprised you haven't blamed it on the US.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    I'm just surprised you haven't blamed it on the US.
    Nobody has suggested they are involved currently. Give it a few days.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Govt needs to be ‘whipped like donkey’ over case of ‘disappeared’ activist: Rangsiman

    Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome brought up the abduction of pro-democracy activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit in Cambodia during Wednesday’s (June 10) session of the House of Representatives.


    Wanchalearm, a fierce critic of the government who has been in self-imposed exile since shortly after the 2014 coup, was dragged into a car by unknown assailants in Phnom Penh last week.He was the latest in a string of Thai political dissidents to have vanished abroad, some of whom have later turned up dead.

    “The government is like a donkey that needs to be whipped by society to do something about the disappearance of Wanchalearm and nine other activists [from Thailand abroad],” the opposition lawmaker said. “Now, we never get the truth explained.”

    Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, speaking for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, said the Foreign Ministry and the Cambodian government had not clarified the situation, adding that Wanchalearm had not asked for help from the Justice Ministry, so he could not say anything on that matter. However, he said the Justice Ministry will seek the truth behind the disappearance of the nine activists.

    Meanwhile Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai responded to Pheu Thai MP Somkid Chuakong’s query about progress case by saying the government was waiting for information from Cambodian officials, who began an investigation on June 10. The government is ready to take care of Thai people living in other countries but some cases had not come to light, including that of Wanchalearm, he said. He added that Wanchalearm was not a political refugee and his name was not listed by the UN Refugee Agency, so Human Rights Watch and Amnesty might be seeking attention for themselves by publicising his case.

    Rangsiman said the answers from the government side were disappointing since they showed no concern for human rights.

    The parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights later vowed to scrutinise Wanchalearm’s case. The national police chief and Foreign Ministry are expected to give information on the activist’s disappearance on Thursday (June 11) and there will be further discussion with human rights organisations.

    Govt needs to be ‘whipped like donkey’ over case of ‘disappeared’ activist: Rangsiman

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    Lots of speculation the orders given and the men that carried them out originated in Europe.

  15. #15
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    Lots of speculation the orders given and the men that carried them out originated in Europe.


  16. #16
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Nobody has suggested they are involved currently. Give it a few days.
    Yeah, I'm sure one of your whackjob websites will manufacture a link soon.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    whackjob websites
    MK's already got the them covered.

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Rights Group Says Another Thai Dissident Was Abducted | Time
    "Associated Press writer Sopheng Cheang in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, contributed to this report."

    Rights Group Says Another Thai Dissident Was Abducted | Time

  18. #18
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Yeah, I'm sure one of your whackjob websites will manufacture a link soon.
    Unlike the highest quality of wacko websites that you might offer - regularly.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Unlike the highest quality of wacko websites that you might offer - regularly.
    Yeah, fuck off you dull c u n t.

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