Cambodian authorities should immediately divulge the whereabouts of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a prominent Thai activist who was forcibly disappeared in Phnom Penh on June 4, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, the United States, and the European Parliament have called on the Cambodian government to urgently investigate Wanchalearm’s disappearance.
“The abduction of a prominent Thai activist on the streets of Phnom Penh is a new and dangerous turn that demands an immediate, credible response from the Cambodian authorities,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should stop denying the undeniable and urgently locate Wanchalearm and ensure his safety.”
Wanchalearm, 37, a pro-democracy activist affiliated with the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, known as the “Red Shirts,” fled to Cambodia after the May 2014 military coup in Thailand. He remained politically active in exile, frequently criticizing the Thai military and government on social media. Wanchalearm’s last video clip on Facebook, posted on June 3, criticized Thailand’s prime minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha.