Kritsana Thapthai

Kritsana Thapthai was probably charged with lese majeste around the time of the 2014 military coup. However, PPT only learned of this case when Kritsana and two colleagues were reported as missing in May 2019.

With fellow exiles Siam Theerawut and Chucheep Chivasut (known as Uncle Sanam Luang), Kritsana was a political activist living in exile in Laos. All three were also wanted for sedition. Kritsana and his two companions are members of the Organization for Thai Federation, which calls for a republic in Thailand. They have produced numerous YouTube videos criticizing the monarchy and the military junta. As such, the junta has pressured Laos for their return to Thailand.

It is believed that, following the gruesome murder of fellow activists and the disappearance of others – believed by many to have been victims of Thai military commando operations – Kritsana and his comrades fled to Vietnam. Arrested there, it is now believed they have been deported to Thailand on 8 May 2019.

However, neither Thai nor Vietnamese authorities acknowledge holding them or say anything of their fate. Police have reportedly stated that they have no knowledge of the men and their whereabouts. Deputy Dictator Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has denied the three are in state custody. Yet a family member of one of the men was told by a policeman that the military may be holding the trio incommunicado.

Siam’s family has been petitioning government’s embassies and UN agencies for information on his whereabouts. Given the fate of other exiles in recent months, some fear that these men have all been murdered.

Despite this, the regime’s prosecutors brought charges against Kritsana for sedition and membership of a secret society in early 2020.

Media reports on Kritsana’s case:

Prachatai, 24 January 2020: “Four people jailed for suspected involvement in Thai Federation movement

Khaosod, 14 May 2019: “Family Hopes Missing Republican is Still Alive

TLHR, 14 May 2019: “Family and Friends of ‘Siam’ Meet the UN and Ask for Help to Locate Him

Bangkok Post, 14 May 2019: “Activists need protection

Khaosod, 14 May 2019: “Family of Disappeared Monarchy Critic Seeks Answers

Bangkok Post, 13 May 2019: “Exile’s parents seek information on his disappearance

Prachatai, 13 May 2019: “Thai government must disclose whereabouts of missing activists, say rights groups

Thai Alliance for Human Rights, 10 May 2019: “Reported Deportation of Three Prominent Thai Anti-Monarchy Dissidents from Vietnam

HRW, 9 May 2019: “Thailand: Critics Feared ‘Disappeared’

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