Bangkok police block Thaksin’s house amid tension with activist’s sister
Bangkok police block Thaksin’s house amid tension with activist’s sisterLegacy

Bangkok witnessed a tense standoff yesterday as police cordoned off the area around the residence of Thaksin Shinawatra, preventing Sitanan Satsaksit from approaching the house. Sitanan, the sister of missing democracy activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit, sought to question Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen over her brother’s alleged abduction in Cambodia in 2020.

Sitanan was barred from reaching Soi Charan Sanitwong 69, near the residence of the former Thai Prime Minister. Deputy National Police Chief Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn intervened, engaging in discussions with Sitanan at the scene of the police blockade near a bank in the Bang Phlat district of Bangkok. Big Joke cited security concerns for preventing Sitanan’s access to the house, known as Chan Suan Soong Lha, stirring questions about the limits placed on citizens by authorities, reported KhaoSod.

The encounter unfolded as Big Joke arrived at the location where Sitanan was contained. Amidst the tension, he entered into negotiations with her, reiterating the prohibition against visiting Chan Suan Soong Lha, alluding again to the necessity of ensuring her safety. Sitanan, confronted by the police barricade and search, expressed her frustration at being treated as a potential threat rather than a citizen seeking answers about her brother’s fate.

Four years ago, after the broad-daylight abduction of exiled Thai political activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit in Cambodia, both countries’ police forces refused to investigate, prompting calls from human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, for swift action. Human rights defender Angkhana Neelapaijit warned that Thai authorities risk being seen in a negative light if they don’t actively investigate the case.

At least eight Thai activists who fled after the 2014 coup have disappeared, with some found dead. Angkhana stressed that Thai authorities must collaborate with Cambodia to solve Wanchalearm’s case. However, Cambodian authorities have yet to acknowledge his disappearance.

The Royal Thai Police stated they received no information about Wanchalearm, emphasizing that Thai authorities cannot intervene as the incident occurred outside Thai soil. Former intelligence officials cautioned against premature conclusions, questioning the significance of Wanchalearm’s abduction.

The story Bangkok police block Thaksin’s house amid tension with activist’s sister as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Nattapong Westwood