Photo - Prachatai

Thailand: Authorities must Protect Human Rights Defenders in the Line of Fire

8 April 2016


Following the shooting on 8 April 2016 of Thai land rights activist Supoj Kansong by unknown assailants in Surat Thani, Amnesty International calls on authorities to promptly, thoroughly and transparently investigate the incident and increase measures to protect him and other members of the Khlong Sai Pattana community, who are believed to be at continuing risk of human rights abuses.


The shooting of Supoj Kansong is a deplorable act and yet another blow to a community that authorities have failed to adequately protect from killings, death threats, harassment and intimidation, believed to be related to their human rights work and activism.


The Khlong Sai Pattana community has since 2008 been occupying land in the Chai Buri district of Surat Thani, southern Thailand, during which time those living there have faced killings, death threats, harassment, intimidation and destruction of property and crops.


The community, which has been part of a land title project, has been supported by community land reform advocates the Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand in their ongoing land dispute involving a palm oil company, the Jiew Kang Jue Pattana company ltd. The company has not followed orders by Thailand’s Supreme Court in 2014 to vacate land in Chai Buri district.