Thailand: Cross Cultural Foundation demands explanation for disappearance of Human Rights Defender
In a recent statement the Cross Cultural Foundation demands immediate explanation from relevant authorities regarding the disappearance of Karen Hill-Tribe Human Rights Defender Mr. Billy or Por Cha Lee Rakcharoen. The Cross-cultural Foundation also urges all parties throughout the line of command of responsible authorities including police to investigate the matter in order for information about the whereabouts of Mr. Billy is disclosed promptly.
According to a news report, Mr. Billy disappeared on the afternoon of 17 April 2014. At the time of his disappearance he was believed to be travelling from his village in the mountains to Kaengkrachan district. Mr. Billy has been helping his fellow Karen villagers in their struggle for recognition of indigenous land rights in the Kaengkrachan National Park, especially in a case against the authorities that at present is pending before the courts. On 18 April, the Head of Kaengkrachan National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Office Mr. Chaiwat Limlikitaksor admitted that Mr. Billy had been detained and taken for interrogation as a wild honeycomb and six bottles of wild honey had been found in the possession of Mr. Billy. Mr. Limlikitaksor also claimed that Mr. Billy had been released. However, activists allege that neither the report of detention nor any evidence of release of Mr. Billy from detention had been disclosed by the authorities. According to its own website the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) aims at promoting understanding across different cultures. It also works for the promotion and protection of human rights and democracy.