3 Cambodian activists held in Thailand before PM’s visit: Rights groups

3 Cambodian activists held in Thailand before PM's visit: Rights groups

BANGKOK: Rights organizations reported on Saturday ( Feb 3 ) that three Cambodian activists have been detained in Thailand in advance of a planned visit by the country’s prime minister.

Officers detained Dick Sokha and Kung Raiya on Friday in the nation’s capital, Bangkok, while Pha Phaya, a part of the Cambodia Youth Network, was held in Rayong state.

According to right organizations operating in the country, all three are thought to have been transported to Suan Plu, Bangkok’s primary immigration detention facility.

A Thai man and his relatives were detained at Suan Plu, according to police, who confirmed their imprisonment in Rayong. They claimed that despite not recognizing him as Ha Phaya, his relatives still live in Rayong.

According to Ban Chang police chief Arthit Yakaew, who is referring to the UN refugee company,” they have UNHCR cards so they might not be deported because they could experience danger in their home land.”

A request for comment was never answered by the UNHCR.

Dick Sokha, vice president of Bangkok’s Thai Refugee Committee, and Kung Raiya, a former Candlelight Party opposition member, were also not detained by officers.

However, the Human Rights Watch-affiliated freedom organization Manushya Foundation claimed to be in contact with the case’s attorneys and urged their discharge.

According to Manushya leader Emilie Pradichit,” we immediately urge Thai authorities never to arrest these activists to Cambodia, where they, along with their families, face a serious risk of imprisonment and torture.”

The punishments occur just weeks before Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Manet, who took over for his late father last year, is scheduled to visit and speak with Thai equivalent Srettha Thavisin.

Prior to PM Hun Manet’s visit, “it is obviously international repression by Vietnamese and Thai authorities,” according to Pradichit.

Over the years, many Vietnamese protesters have fled to Thailand in order to avoid persecution at home.

The case is related to the anti-war Russian-Belasian rock group Bi-2, whose incarceration in Thailand raised concerns that they would be sent back to Russia.

They left the country this quarter in response to a protest.