Posters of abducted activists from the post-World War II era to today appeared in the northeast today.
People in Yasothon woke up to see the face of recently abducted exile Wanchalerm Satsaksit and 15 others who’ve gone missing over the years on yellow posters placed throughout the city at locations including a bridge at the Lam Thuan Reservoir and a tree in front of a juvenile court.
Each bilingual poster shows a black and white photo of the abducted activist below the word “Missing.” Their names and causes of disappearance – abducted by the state, asserts Wanchalerms – appear below. Across the bottom appears the hashtag #Thaicantbreathe.
Supachai Chansiri, a local reporter reached for contact, said he didn’t know who did this so he couldn’t know who was behind the posters or their purpose. He published photos of the posters on his News Yasothon page and said he was looking into their source.
Similar posters appeared earlier this month in nearby Ubon Ratchathani province, purportedly placed by university students. They were taken down by the authorities the same day they appeared.
Yasothon, Thailand’s second most impoverished province, is best known for its annual Rocket Festival.
Apart from Wanchalerm, the posters include disappeared activists such as Haji Sulong, who fought for Muslim rights in the southern border region after World War II; and Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen, the leader of a Karen ethnic group whose body was found in September, five years after he was abducted by national park rangers in Phetchaburi province.
Efforts to call attention to the disappearances has persisted despite concerted efforts to silence them. Last month, several protests were staged, and a number of street murals mysteriously destroyed, with artists saying they were followed and harassed by security forces.
Wanchalerm was abducted last month in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The authorities have denied involvement, and Cambodia has refused to conduct a credible investigation. He left Thailand in the wake of the 2014 coup after refusing an order to appear by the junta. A warrant was later issued for his arrest.
His is the latest in a string of disappearances of dissidents overseas in which suspicion has fallen on Thai security forces.
ยโสธรพบโปสเตอร์ตามหาเหยื่ออุ้มหาย 15 รายผุดทั่วเมือง
เมื่อวันที่ 16 ก.ค.63…
This article, Missing: Disappeared Thai activists gaze from posters hung in Yasothon, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!