6 Still Unaccounted For in Thai Riot Arrests

Six people reportedly arrested after the Jan 29 anti-Thai riots are still unaccounted for, and authorities are not allowing family members and human rights groups to meet with the remaining 60 people charged with crimes in connection with the riots, a hu­man rights official said Wednes­day.

Family members and sources reported to the human rights group Licadho that at least six people thought arrested have not yet been found. The reasons for their disappearance has not determined, Licadho Director Naly Pilorge said on Wednesday. “[The six] do not appear to be charged or detained or released—they could be hiding,” Pilorge said.

One Ministry of Interior official, who declined to be identified, could not account for the six, saying that the courts have charged all people accused of being in­volved in the Jan 29 riots.

The number of people charged and detained with crimes related to the rioting has increased slightly since originally reported after the rampage. Currently, the auth­orities have 54 men in Prey Sar’s CC-I prison for men, while six people have been sent to Prey Sar CC-II, the neighboring prison for wo­men and minors, Licadho reports.

The detainees have been charged with violating Untac laws such as wrongful destruction of prop­erty, receiving and concealing sto­len goods, as well as robbery and theft-related crimes, Pilorge said.

On Tuesday, the authorities released on bail two journalists, Beehive Radio owner Mam Sonando and Rasmei Angkor (Light of Angkor) Editor in Chief En Chan Sivatha, who were arrested in connection with the riots.

The court charged Mam Son­ando with inciting the violence by allegedly broadcasting false information and reports that the Cambodian Embassy in Bang­kok was destroyed, while En Chan Sivatha was accused of publishing false information.

The remaining 60 detainees, however, remain behind bars at Prey Sar, without having access to their family members or human rights monitors, Pilorge said.

Previously, the Ministry of Interior stated that it would not allow visits to prisoners until the government’s investigation of the suspects is complete.


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