"Argh, can't breathe": Thai political exile kidnapped in Phnom Penh

Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a Thai political activist in exile in Phnom Penh was allegedly kidnapped from in front of his condominium in the evening of 4 June.

(Left) A CCTV footage of the car that took Wanchalearm (right)

A source whose name has been withheld for security concerns, claimed to be speaking on the phone with Wanchalearm as he was taken, and heard him said “argh, I can’t breathe” before the call was cut.

The source said that they thought he had had an accident, but when they later asked a friend to check on Wanchalearm at the condominium, the friend found that he had already been abducted.

Video footage shows that he was taken away in a black car. A security guard at the scene also tried to help, but said that the kidnapper was armed with a gun.

Student activist Parit Chiwarak also posted on  Facebook that Wanchalearm was taken away in a black car.

Wanchalearm is a critic of Thai politics and on 3 June published a video clip criticizing Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha speaking in the northeastern Thai dialect.

He was also accused of setting up the Facebook page ‘Ku Tong Dai 100 Lan Chak Thaksin Nae Nae’ (I must get 100 million baht from Thaksin for sure), a political satire page which has been criticizing the junta since 2014, and was among those prosecuted for refusing the junta summons following the 2014 military coup.

According to Isra news, he is also one of the many self-exile Thais who have been on the authority's wanted list of people who violate Thailand’s lèse-majesté law, of Article 112 in the Criminal Code. However, there is no clear evidence of him being accused legally.

Prachatai edited the content grammartically and more detail on his lèse-majesté law violation on 5 June, 2020, 08.20 pm


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