Wednesday, May 12, 2021

in-focus

Activists mount pressure on Cambodia six months after Wanchalearm's disappearance


The Friends of Wanchalearm group and Amnesty International activists went to the Cambodian Embassy in Thailand on Thursday to mark six months since the disappearance of Wanchalearm Satsaksit.

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They also submitted to Cambodia a list of 14,157 people who had joined a signature campaign, urging Cambodian authorities to ensure effective, urgent, thorough and transparent investigation and to deliver justice to Wanchalearm’s family.
Clad in colorful Hawaiian shirts often worn by Wanchalearm, they wore Wanchalearm masks and urged people to use #6MonthsOnWeShallNotForget hashtag to show that they still remember and keep monitoring progress in this case.
Wanchalearm’s sister, Sitanan Satsaksit, is in Cambodia since November 10, along with a legal team, to give evidence and provide testimony to Cambodian authorities regarding her brother’s disappearance. She is due to give her information on December 8.
Piyanut Kotsan, director of Amnesty International Thailand, said that to mark six months of Wanchalearm’s disappearance in Phnom Penh on June 4, the Friends of Wanchalearm group and Amnesty International’s activists met with Ouk Sorphorn, Cambodia’s ambassador to Thailand, to discuss and know about progress in the case. They also submitted to him the signature campaign urging Cambodian authorities to expedite their investigation efforts.
The 14,157 names given to the Cambodian authorities have been compiled by Amnesty International Thailand after the AI International Secretariat had launched an urgent action to invite people around the world to write to Prime Minister Hun Sen and demand that Cambodian authorities urgently investigate the enforced disappearance of Wanchalearm, and to keep his family informed of his whereabouts as well as to bring the perpetrators to justice through a fair trial in a civilian court.
They also urged 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 not deport Wanchalearm to Thailand in order to act in compliance with the obligation to not send a person to a place where he/she is likely to face human rights violation.
Separately, pro-democracy activist Sombat Boonngamanong mentioned on his Facebook page on Friday that Wanchalearm’s case was the catalyst in pushing people to gather under the name of Ratsadon protesters.
“This murder case was complicated, and not done by normal people, but professionals who can do it overseas.The operators must have researched deliberately on their target, and kidnapped him instead of killing him at the scene. Wanchalearm’s corpse was likely concealed smartly, possibly like corpses found in Mekong River, in which cement objects were found in the stomach,” he posted.

Published : December 04, 2020