Target: Pracha Promnok, Minister of Justice
Goal: Discover the location of prominent human rights activist Por Cha Lee Rakchongcharoen
The government in Thailand must immediately disclose the location of prominent human rights activist Por Cha Lee Rakchongcharoen, also known as ‘Billy’. He specializes in dealing with issues faced by the ethnic Karen community in Thailand. Billy was arrested in mid-April in the Kaengkrachan National Park while travelling to a Karen community in a mountainous region of the park. Authorities claim that he was released shortly after being detained but they have provided no evidence of that. This enforced disappearance must be investigated.
Billy was in the middle of a lawsuit against park officials on behalf of the Karen community at the time of his arrest. The lawsuit claimed that park authorities were responsible for the destruction of the houses and property of more than 20 Karen families who live in the national park. Parks such as this should be places to enjoy nature and to respect life, however the government’s park officials have done neither.
Authorities claim that Billy was detained for possessing illegal honeycomb and bottles of honey. There is no evidence of this or of Billy’s detainment and subsequent release. By not disclosing the location of Billy, the authorities are essentially admitting to an enforced disappearance, as desecribed under international law. Sign this petition to ask the Thai government to reveal the location of this prominent human rights activist.
Dear Minister Pracha Promnok,
The recent disappearance of prominent Karen human rights activist, Por Cha Lee Rakchongcharoen, or ‘Billy’ as many know him, is a disturbing incident. While the authorities that detained him in the Kaengkrachan National Park claim to have released him, there is no evidence to support that claim. There is more evidence to believe that Billy was forcibly disappeared by park authorities.
I ask that you immediately reveal the location and fate of Billy. His disappearance is a violation of international human rights law. By not solving this case, your government will show the international community, and the citizens of your country, that human rights are not a top priority. I urge you to seek a swift end to this case.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Maxim B. via Wikipedia Commons