Target: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
Goal: Release the location of disappeared activist Pholachi Rakchongcharoen and ensure that he is treated fairly and humanely
The recent disappearance of activist Pholachi Rakchongcharoen (also known as Porlajee Rakchongcharoen or “Billy”) has prompted concerns that he is being held as a result of his environmental activism. Sign the petition and demand the immediate disclosure of Pholachi’s whereabouts, and implore authorities to release him immediately.
Pholachi was working with a group of ethnic Karens living within Kaengkrachan National Park. The village is in the midst of a legal action against the park for a 2011 incident in which park authorities burned down twenty homes in the village in response to what it claims was an encroachment on park land. Pholachi was going to act as a translator during the hearing, and he had been collecting important witness testimonies before he disappeared.
Pholachi, who had important case-related documents with him at the time of his disappearance, was last seen traveling between his home village and the Karen village in Kaengkrachan National Park. He was detained by park officials for having wild honey in his possession. Officials claim that Pholachi was let go with a warning, but he has not been seen or heard from since. Amnesty International reports that there is no official record of his ever being stopped by park authorities.
Pholachi’s disappearance affects a number of people, from his wife and his five young children to the entire Karen village in Kaengkrachan. It is imperative that the authorities open an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and that they reveal his location as soon as possible. Sign the petition and urge the authorities to make Pholachi Rakchongcharoen’s whereabouts known.
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to express my deep concern for the well-being of Pholachi “Billy” Rakchongcharoen (Porlajee Rakchongcharoen). It is extremely likely that he has been deliberately “disappeared” by those wishing to interrupt his case against Kaengkrachan National Park, and he was last seen in the custody of government officials. I therefore urge you, if Pholachi remains in official custody, to make his whereabouts known immediately.
Countries have an obligation to protect and defend human rights activists and the invaluable work they do. The circumstances surrounding Pholachi’s disappearance cast a great deal of suspicion on the government. Park officials were supposedly the last people to see Pholachi; they claim that he was detained in the park for having wild honey in his possession but was let go with a warning. However, there is no official record of Pholachi’s detention. He also just happened to be carrying very important case-related documents with him at the time of his disappearance.
Pholachi’s disappearance means a great deal to many people, from his wife and five young children to his colleagues to the Karen villagers he is trying to help. Please do what is both right and necessary: disclose the whereabouts of Pholachi Rakchongchareon and release him from custody immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: JJ Harrison via Wikimedia Commons