Updated: Targeting anti-monarchists

11 08 2019

A few days ago AFP reported (and here too) on the travails of the anti-monarchist, anti-junta and pro-democracy band Faiyen, living in self-exile in Laos. As is well-known, most of the other high-profile anti-monarchists who were in Laos have fled, been forcibly disappeared or murdered.

 

Clipped from Thai Alliance for Human Rights website

Because of this, the band members live in fear and regularly receive threats. “Taking turns to keep watch at their hideout in Laos … ‘Faiyen’ believe they are on a hit-list like eight fellow dissidents who have already disappeared.” Singer Yammy states: “There’s not a single night that we can sleep. A dog’s howl gives us the chills…”.

She adds: “All the firebrand activists have gone, disappeared…. We are the last targets.”

For a time, Faiyen members could stream their political commentary and music: “We could say what we want … but then the hunting started…”. A tearful Yammy worried: “There might be no tomorrow…”. The group “now fear time is running out for them … and are seeking asylum in a European country.”

While Thailand’s royalists and regime will cheer the success of the murders and disappearances – in quieting anti-monarchism – let’s hope that a country with real laws and protection for human rights decides to receive them.

Helpfully, in following Faiyen’s situation, the Thai Alliance for Human Rights has a List of English-language articles on the Faiyen Band during the #SaveFaiyen Campaign. While at that site, it is also worth reading the spine-chilling account of the enforced disappearance in 1954 of Haji Sulong and its resonance with the torture, murder and disappearance of anti-monarchy activists in Laos.

Update: Thankfully, the band members are now in France.


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