Petition filed in missing activist case

Petition filed in missing activist case

Pressure is mounting on the Thai and Cambodian governments to investigate the disappearance of pro-democracy activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit who reportedly went missing in Phnom Penh last week.

Yesterday, a civic group named "Active Thai Citizen", led by its coordinator Kan Wattanasupang, submitted a petition to the House of Representatives.

Mr Wanchalearm, a self-exiled political activist, was reported by Prachathai, a local online media site, to have been abducted by armed men on Thursday in front of his apartment in Phnom Penh. Cambodian police reportedly told AFP that they have not been informed about the case and ruled out investigating the matter.

Mr Kan said the government must seek to protect all Thai citizens regardless of differences in political ideology.

"We cannot let such gross human rights violations happen to those with political different ideas. In the past, political dissidents have been victims of intimidation, assault or even enforced disappearance," said Mr Kan, who is also a member of the Move Forward Party.

He raised the cases of the mysterious disappearances of other political dissidents including Wuthipong "Ko Tee" Kochathamakun and Surachai Danwattananusorn.

A native of Ubon Ratchathani, Mr Wanchalearm was wanted for defying a National Council for Peace and Order summons to report after the 2014 coup, but he failed to show up. Mr Wanchalearm reportedly fled to Laos.

In June 2018, Thai authorities issued an arrest warrant for Mr Wanchalearm based on allegations he violated the Computer-Related Crime Act for operating a Facebook page critical of the Thai government from Phnom Penh.

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