Thai authorities urged to bring to justice, attackers of Ja New, Ekachai and Ford

28 June 2019

Amnesty International

Photo : Noppakow Kongsuwan

In the aftermath of the latest ambush which left a prominent pro-democratic activist, Sirawith Seritiwat, aka “Ja New” with grievous injuries, Amnesty International Thailand recalls how political activists in Thailand have recently been subjected to incessant attacks, while none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice. Thai authorities must immediately carry out investigations and bring the perpetrators to justice.


A report on 28 June 2019, 10.30am, a prominent pro-democratic activist and member of the Startup People, Sirawith Seritiwat, aka “Ja New”, was physically attacked by up to four individuals. He was hit in his head with baseball bats causing him headwounds and swelling eyes. He has since been receiving treatment at the Nawamin 1 Hospital. This is the second attack against him. Previously on 2 June 2019, he was ambushed by at least five individuals who wore helmets to hide their face and was hit with wooden batons causing him to sustain wounds on his head and lips. It happened just after his return from organizing a political activity.


Director of Amnesty International Thailand, Piyanut Kotsan urges Thailand to carry out a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation as it was not the first time an activist has been subjected to such brutal assaults. Another prominent pro-democratic activist, Ekachai Hongkangwan, has been subjected to at least five physical attacks in 2019. The attacks took place after he had organizing or participating in a political activity. Similarly, Anurak Jeantawanich, aka “Ford” was subjected to at least two physical assaults this year. The authorities have until now failed to bring perpetrators to justice in each of the incidences. Impunity in these cases made other fellow activists vulnerable to face further barbaric violence.


“Amnesty International Thailand urges Thailand to carry out prompt investigation into this incidence and bring perpetrators to justice through a fair trial. Failures to hold perpetrators accountable for their abuses would be emblematic to the culture of impunity in Thailand.


Thailand needs to adhere to effective human rights protection guidelines in compliance with international obligations it has toward international human rights laws that protect Human rights defenders.”


On Wednesday 3 July at 10.00am, Amnesty International Thailand representatives will hand an open letter requesting the investigation on violent attacks on activists to the Royal Thai Police.