Methodology Research for this report was conducted over 10 months in 2011. All cases of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in the north, west and east were documented through interviews with relatives and witnesses by JPF staff in 2011. Some of the cases in the south had been documented by members of the Working Group on Justice for Peace (the precursor to the Justice for Peace Foundation) in 2006 and 2007. These interviews were used for this report, in addition to additional interviews with relatives, witnesses and officials in southern Thailand. Interviews are complemented by literature reviews, particularly in regard to the cases of enforced disappearances which took place prior to 2000. Aside from southern Thailand, a lack of documentation of serious human rights violations in Thailand was a significant challenge to this research. JPF found that, with the exception of the Development Quality of Life Lahu Association in Chiang Mai province and a victimsâ€™ network in Kalasin, no organization or individual was documenting serious human rights violations in the west, north or east of Thailand. Thus the cases of enforced disappearances documented by JPF in these areas is a result of researchers hearing of cases through word-of-mouth rather than systematic documentation. Where we found one case of an enforced disappearance or extrajudicial killing, we nearly always heard about several additional cases, some of which we were able to document. This leads us to believe that the cases documented in this report represent only a small portion of the real number of enforced disappearances in Thailand. Extreme fear continues to limit the cases in which relatives seek help from NGOs or make information about the disappearances public. Exacerbating this situation is the lack of NGOs working on this issue in these areas of Thailand. As there is no presence of the Thai National Human Rights Commission outside of Bangkok, relatives of the enforcedly disappeared do not know what the NHRC is or how to report their relativeâ€™s disappearance to this official human rights body. The NHRC should make a much greater effort to be present and active in the provinces of Thailand. JPF views this research as a first step in uncovering the extent of the practice of enforced disappearances in Thailand and encourages others to take forward the struggle for truth, justice and reparations, as well as an end to the practice of enforced disappearances in Thailand. Unless otherwise stated, victims are male. Due to the significant proportion of victims being male, in this report JPF has only states gender of the victim when the victim is female. In some cases names and locations have been withheld on request of the family, due to fear of retaliation if they share their story.
Enforced Disappearances in Thailand