Murder on the Mekong: why exiled Thai dissidents are abducted and killed
Publisher: Europe Solidaire Sans Frontieres
Date Written: 17/03/2019
Year Published: 2019
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23565
In Thailand, people who violate lèse-majesté law - which prevents any criticism of the monarchy - can find themselves with a bounty on them and end up living in exile. Some dissidents have been murdered or disappeared.
"Surachai lived for politics and believed in sacrificing everything for your beliefs, even dying for them," said Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, a close friend he met while they were both serving time as political prisoners.
Every Tuesday, from the safety of his hideout in Laos just 30km from the Thai border, Surachai would broadcast videos on his YouTube channel to his thousands of followers. These were incendiary in the eyes of the military regime, filled with ragingly anti-military and anti-monarchy sentiment, and were often a call-to-arms for revolution and the overthrow of the junta. From time to time, the two other Thai dissidents who lived with Surachai in exile Chatcharn Buppawan, 56 (known as Puchana) and (Kraidej Luelert, 46, known as Kasalong) would also appear in these activist videos, all equally outspoken in their mutual loathing of the military regime.