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Amnesty urges Thai, Cambodian govts to ensure Wanchalearm sister’s safety


Amnesty International welcomes the move by both Thailand and Cambodia to allow Wanchalearm’s sister to travel to Phnom Penh to give evidence in the case of the missing activist after a wait of more than five months, the organisation said in a press statement.

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Amnesty urges Thai, Cambodian govts to ensure Wanchalearm sister’s safety
Amnesty International Thailand director Piyanut Kotsan noted in the statement that after more than five months since Wanchalearm Satsaksit was last seen in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, there has been barely any progress in the investigation into his forced disappearance. 
His family still looks forward to finding out his whereabouts and the reasons for his disappearance, identifying the perpetrators and having them brought to justice, Piyanut said. 
It has been reported lately that Sitanan Satsaksit will travel to Cambodia on Wednesday with a team of lawyers to give evidence to Cambodian authorities regarding the disappearance of her younger brother. Although she was due to give evidence on December 8, due to the Covid-19 pandemic there is only one flight a month to Cambodia, so she has to travel almost one month in advance. 
“We welcome Thailand’s and Cambodia’s facilitation of the trip, including the issuance of special visas to make it possible for Ms Sitanan Satsaksit, Wanchalearm Satsaksit’s sister, and her team of lawyers to give evidence pursuant to the summons issued by the Municipal Court of Phnom Penh.
“We urge both countries to ensure the safety of Wanchalearm’s sister and her team of lawyers while they stay in Cambodia. As members of the family of the activist who disappeared, they deserve protection and the right to know the truth and to restore justice.
“We hold firm on our outstanding demand for the Cambodian authorities to expedite the effort to effectively, urgently, thoroughly and transparently investigate Wanchalearm’s disappearance and to bring justice to the family immediately, since the last five months have seen no progress in terms of the legal case,” Piyanut said.
“Previously, Amnesty International launched the global Urgent Action campaign to invite our supporters around the world to write to Prime Minister Hun Sen and to demand Cambodian authorities expedite the effort to investigate Wanchalearm’s disappearance and to inform his family about his whereabouts as well as to try any suspect in this case in a civilian court through a fair trial. 
“We also urge Cambodia to act in compliance with the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance to which Cambodia is a state party and to not deport Wanchalearm to Thailand in compliance with the international obligation to refrain from sending a person to a place where it is highly likely that person will see a violation of his human rights. 
“Amnesty International Thailand has sent the names of more than 10,000 supporters to Wanchalearm’s sister, who will hand over the list to Cambodia,” Piyanut added.

Published : November 11, 2020

By : THE NATION