Somchai case shows lack of justice

Somchai case shows lack of justice

A photo of disappeared Somchai Neelapaijit featured at an exhibition, 'For Those Who Died Trying', at Pridi Banomyong Institute in March last year. (File photo by Thanarak Khunton)
A photo of disappeared Somchai Neelapaijit featured at an exhibition, 'For Those Who Died Trying', at Pridi Banomyong Institute in March last year. (File photo by Thanarak Khunton)

For some people, 14 years may pass by quickly, but for our family, time has been so slow, since our family head, Somchai Neelapaijit, disappeared on March 12, 2004. After 14 years, all his belongings are in their place -- his clothes are in the wardrobe, his books and notebooks, a desk calendar and other items on his desk -- as if they were waiting for the owner to come back.

Many people may forget that Somchai was abducted and became a victim of enforced disappearance by a team of five police. Before the mishap, Somchai was a human rights lawyer who had helped people pro bono.

Shortly before he was abducted, Somchai had engaged in a campaign for the end of martial law, and helped suspects facing torture in the restive South. His abduction, which came just one day after he petitioned state agencies against the alleged torture, took place at a bustling area in the heart of Bangkok. He has not been found since.

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Angkhana Neelapaijit

Former human rights commissioner

Angkhana Neelapaichit is former human rights commissioner. She is also a recipient of the Magsaysay award.

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