World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Thailand: Somchai Neelaphaijit - One man four disappearances

AHRC-STM-242-2013
December 16, 2013

The case of human rights lawyer Somchai Neelaphaijit, whom police officers abducted and forcibly disappeared over nine years ago, took a new twist when the Department of Special Investigation claimed that its file on his case had itself disappeared during anti-government protests last week.

According to Niran Adulayasak, Director of Special Criminal Case Office 1 in DSI in a news report on Thai PBS TV, when members of the protests broke into his building, they went to the cabinet containing the file of Somchai's case and removed it from the premises. The file is now, like the person on whom it was prepared, officially disappeared.

The disappearance of the file on Somchai's case is only the latest in a series of disappearances, beginning with the disappearance of Somchai himself. The second disappearance was the disappearance of the one police officer found guilty of criminal offences in connection with the lawyer's abduction in the court of first instance. While appealing the conviction, he supposedly disappeared in a landslide.

Somchai's wife, Angkhana, has said that she doubts the explanations regarding the disappearance of the policeman, and on this occasion the Asian Human Rights Commission doubts the explanation of the DSI regarding the third disappearance, of the file itself. That protestors would break into a government office just to go straight to the cabinet with a file on an abducted human rights defender without bothering with any other of the office's contents is a stretch of the imagination. That the government of the former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, to whom the demonstrators were opposed, was implicated in Somchai's disappearance only makes such an allegation by the DSI criminal cases director all the more fanciful.

The fourth disappearance is, of course, the disappearance of justice: for Somchai, for his family, and for all people in Thailand concerned about consistent violations of the right to life there. The AHRC long ago associated the disappearance of justice with the disappearance of Somchai. But perhaps, almost a decade on from his abduction, it would be better to recognise that justice has not disappeared in this case after all, because it was never a possibility in the first place. From the beginning, practically all public institutions in Thailand – political and legal – signalled that justice was in this case not going to be realised. Whether or not his family, fellow human rights defenders and other concerned persons were prepared to recognise this ugly fact was a matter of no significance. And it was only a matter of time that along with Somchai, the case itself disappeared too.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>

ALSO:

World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>

ALSO:

Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news