Faiyen’s fears

21 05 2019

An article by James Buchanan at VICE is well worth reading. It continues the Faiyen story and begins with the group: “That’s now eight activists who have gone missing. We’re on their ‘wanted’ list too and with all the other targets eliminated, we could be next. We are like calves, waiting to be sent to the slaughterhouse.”

The musicians now feel scared and trapped. In Thailand, some of them face serious charges brought by the military junta. One, Jom, says he has “four counts of breaking the notorious lèse majesté law, which severely punishes anything that ‘defames, insults, or threatens’ the monarchy.”

Faiyen Band (Clipped from a BBC Thai story)

Jom and the band “opted to escape by slipping over the border. But the neighbouring country [Laos] they sought refuge in has offered scant protection and many activists like them are now missing, presumed dead. Shaken by rumours of a ‘kill list’, they too fear for their lives.”

As the article explains, “at least eight Thai dissidents in neighbouring countries have disappeared.” The article details these “disappearances.” The most gruesome, because the bodies were found floating in the Mekong River, were Chatchan Bupphawan and Kraidej Luelert. They had been tortured, garotted, disemboweled and, weighted down with cement in their stomachs, thrown in the river.

The murderers are obviously determined and skilled in their evil, black arts. The lese majeste law may have outlived its usefulness for the senior royalists in Thailand, and they are now using torture and murder to “protect” the monarchy.

Jom is reported to believe that “the orders for the killing came from the Thai government, with assistance from the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and business connections in the neighbouring country.”

The most recent enforced disappearance of three more exiles s adding to Faiyen’s fears. They feel trapped. They need a third country to help them, but even with the recent deaths and disappearances, this is proving impossible. And, even those being assessed for political refugee status are not safe.


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