Human rights activists voiced concern Monday concerning the stalled Thai police investigation into the late-August disappearance in Bangkok of distinguished Lao democracy advocate Od Sayavong.
Od, 34, who had been acknowledged as a refugee by the U.N. refugee company and brazenly criticized his nation’s authorities on-line and in public protests, was final seen at his dwelling in Bangkok on Aug. 26.
Per week later a colleague reported his disappearance to the Thai police. They are saying they’re nonetheless investigating.
“We’re nonetheless engaged on this case, following all of the [necessary] steps of the investigation and we’re cooperating with the U.N.,” Col. Thirayut Maipaeng, chief of the Bungkum Police Station in Bangkok, informed RFA’s Lao Service final week.
“The truth is, the opposite day, the U.N. got here to the station to inquire concerning the case,” he added.
The chief added that after interrogating Od’s mates and safety digicam footage, they’re no nearer to cracking the case. They didn’t see the place or how he disappeared and none of his mates stated they noticed him since he was final reported being seen.
The officer reiterated and insisted that the Thai authorities are taking the case critically, however the investigation has stalled as they seek for extra proof.
Rights consultants demand solutions
Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch known as for “extra strain on the Thai authorities.”
“The UNHCR, Laos and different organizations expect a full and fast investigation from the Thai facet. To this point, it has been very quiet. Everyone is asking why there was no details about the case,” HRW’s deputy Asia director stated.
Sunai Pasuk, a senior guide for a rights group in Thailand, informed RFA on Monday that the Thai authorities must do higher.
“At this second, we’re nonetheless urging the Thai authorities, particularly the police, to proceed the investigation to search out out what occurred to Od. The Thai authorities ought to present a clearer dedication to defending asylum seekers,” he stated.
Mr. Pasuk defined that Od’s disappearance has created worry and concern for Lao pro-democracy activists who apply for political asylum in Thailand or criticize the Lao authorities from there.
In the meantime a UNHCR consultant informed RFA, “We don’t understand how [Od] disappeared. We solely processed his utility for political asylum.”
An RFA Lao Service reporter just lately contacted considered one of Od’s mates by way of Fb messenger. Od’s buddy stated he has not heard something about him since his disappearance.
Reported and Translated by RFA’s Lao Service. Written in English by Eugene Whong.