Somchai Neelapaijit defended terrorists in the turbulent south of Thailand. He disappeared on 12 March 2004, shortly after having publicly for accusing the police of torturing his clients in prison. Nothing has been heard of him since. His car was found empty. Despite pressure from Somchai’s family, Thai society and the international community, those responsible have still not been held accountable.
Shortly after Somchai’s disappearance, five police officers were arrested and prosecuted for their alleged involvement in the disappearance. Although there were serious suspicions concerning all suspects, only one of the officers received a three-year prison sentence, while the four others were acquitted. National and international human rights organisations concluded that the outcome was the result of an utter failure of the judicial apparatus.
The judgment on appeal, on 11 March 2011, confirmed that the Thai authorities are as yet unable to answer the question of who was responsible for Somchai’s disappearance. The Court acquitted all of the five suspects. It also ruled that Somchai’s wife and children were not eligible to exercise their rights as an aggrieved party and, in that capacity, to uncover the truth of this matter.
On 27 August 2019, Thai human rights lawyer and laureate of the Lawyers for Lawyers Award 2017 Sirikan ‘June’ Charoensiri was informed at the Chanasongkram Police Station that the Attorney General had issued a non-prosecution order in one case againstLees verder
Fifteen years ago, Thai human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit disappeared and he is currently still missing. Until now, no perpetrators have been held accountable for his disappearance. Somchai disappeared on 12 March 2004, one day after he had publicly accused theLees verder
Award-winner Sirikan Charoensiri calls for nominations: “Awareness of the importance of defending human rights, the rule of law and democracy has increased significantly among lawyers, legal practitioners and law students in Thailand since I received the Lawyers for Lawyers (‘L4L’)Lees verder
“Our work is far from over” Thai human rights lawyer Sirikan Charoensiri – known to friends as ‘June’- was the first woman to receive the Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) Award one year ago. She was rewarded for her ‘unwavering courageLees verder