Exiled Thai political activist abducted by gunmen in Phnom Penh
Human Rights Watch’s Asia division urged Cambodian authorities today to explain immediately the disappearance of an exiled Thai political activist, who is reported to have been abducted by armed men in front of his apartment in Phnom Penh on Thursday.
The 37-year old activist, Mr. Wanchalerm Satsaksit, was apparently bundled into a vehicle at gunpoint by a group of 4 or 5 men, as he was walking on the street in front of his apartment in the Cambodian capital.
“The abduction of a prominent Thai political activist on the streets of Phnom Penh demands an immediate response from the Cambodian authorities,” said Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch’s Asia director today.
A Cambodian police spokesman told Reuters that their authorities had not detained or arrested the activist and that there is not enough information for police to open an investigation.
Wanchalerm was among 29 exiled Thai activists accused of violating Thailand’s lèse majesté law, officially Section 112 of the Criminal Code. He fled Thailand after the coup in 2014, but had been summoned by the military before he fled.
In Bangkok today, supporters of Wanchalerm launched a hashtag campaign, Save Wanchalerm, on social media.
Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, told the media today that the police have no details about Wanchalerm’s disappearance in Cambodia.
At the same time, he denied that the Thai police had anything to do with the incident.
Political activist and former leader of the Student Union of Thailand, Prit (Penguin) Chivarak, said his group will stage a demonstration this evening at the Pathumwan skywalk, in front of Bangkok Art Gallery, to demand justice for the abducted activist.