Sister of Mr. Wanchalearm will give her statement at the Phnom Penh Court on 8 Dec 2020 Related to her brother abduction
On 8 Dec 2020 from 9.00 am onwards, Ms. Sitanan Satsaksit will deliver oral and written statements to the investigative judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court as per subpoena in criminal case no. 4832, related to the abduction and arbitrary detention by unidentified armed persons of her brother, Mr. Wanchalearm Satsaksit. The perpetrators forced Mr. Wanchalearm, Ms. Sitanan’s younger brother, into a car and drove away on 4 June 2020 around 4.00 pm.
Mr. Wanchalearm had been residing in Cambodia since fleeing political persecution in Thailand after the military coup in 2014. In exile, he has continued his criticism of the military government. Until now, after 6 months, Thai and Cambodia authorities still cannot or will not verify his fate and whereabouts. This constitutes an enforced disappearance, a gross human rights violation and crime under international law.
There has been no progress into the investigation of his enforced disappearance. Ms. Sitanan has hired a Cambodia lawyer to file the petition with the Cambodian Prosecutor’s office to request the court open an investigation. According to Cambodian criminal procedure law, the Royal Prosecutor has investigative powers.
Ms. Sitanan will present evidence establishing grounds to open a formal investigation and identify the perpetrators in her brother’s disappearance in order to bring them to justice.
Ms. Sitanan travelled to Phnom Penh on 10 Nov 2020 together with a Thai legal team from Thai Lawyer for Human rights (TLHR) and Cross-Cultural Foundation (CrCF). After meeting with her Cambodian lawyer, on 8 Dec 2020, Ms. Sitanan plans to deliver both a verbal and written statement including other evidence to reaffirm that Mr. Wanchalearm was residing in Phnom Penh and was abducted in front of his residence in Phnom Penh, although the perpetrator(s) have yet to be identified.
Ms. Sitanan said “Thanks to the Cambodian Court that issued me a subpoena, I am confident that with the facts and evidence that I will present to the court, the court will ensure that my brother was here in Phnom Penh and was forced by armed men into the car. Mr. Wanchalearm did not have any conflict neither business or personnel in Cambodia, but often criticized the current government of Thailand continuously,” such criticism is protected free speech under international law.
“This notorious crime (enforced disappearance) happened across the border in Cambodian territory, from facst and evidence I will provide to the Phnom Penh court, I urge Cambodia authorities to grant us willingness and with their efficiency and competency to investigate the case to bring us justice to me and my family. We wish to know whereabout he is and urge the Cambodia government to bring real perpetrators to justice soon”
– Pornpen Khongkachonkiet – CrCF +66-659793836 (Signal/WhatsApp)
– Montana Duangprapa – TLHR +66-613142685 (Signal)