Thailand: Authorities should investigate abduction of community rights activist, says Human Rights Watch

Author: Human Rights Watch, Published on: 17 August 2019

"Thailand: Investigate Activists Abduction in Phatthalung," 15 August 2019

Thai authorities should carry out an effective investigation, open to public scrutiny, into the abduction and intimidation of Eakachai Itsaratha, a community rights activist in Phatthalung province, Human Rights Watch said today.

“The abduction of a prominent human rights defender in broad daylight demands an immediate government response,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “Thai authorities should not remain silent about Eakachai’s case but rather take immediate action to seriously investigate and bring those responsible to justice.”

...[M]ore than 10 unidentified men abducted Eakachai...as he was about to attend a public hearing on a rock quarry project planned for the province...

...Before Eakachai was released, one of the assailants threatened him, saying that he and his family would be in danger if he reported the abduction to the police. That man also told him not to return to the mountain villages in Ta-Mhod district again, saying that his activities had adversely affected the quarry project and the process of obtaining permission from the government...

Eakachai is a prominent community rights activist and...has long been known for opposing mining and quarry projects, which he contends destroy local livelihoods and the environment, and for demanding accountability for such impacts.

 

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