Govt petitions UN over ‘disappearances’
The Rights and Liberties Protection Department is seeking to win the United Nations’ approval to bring down the number of people reported missing in Thailand after at least four were found either alive or dead.
The UN has collected information about persons reported missing in enforced or involuntary disappearances since the 1992 Black May protests and recorded the number of missing people in Thailand at 82, said department director-general Pitikan Sithidej.
Of this number, four have already been located — two are still alive and the other two dead — so the department had submitted a request to the UN asking it to consider adjusting the number to 78.
She said the UN responded to the request citing a recommendation by its working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances not to cut the published figure just yet, although the working group would file the information for later use.
Ms Pitikan added that there is another option to gain immediate exclusion of these four names from the UN’s list.
If families or relatives of the four give a written statement indicating they no longer have any doubt as to their whereabouts, whether alive or dead, their names could possibly be removed from the UN’s list immediately, she said.
The department, therefore, will visit the families and relatives of not only these four persons but also the other 78 people recorded on the same list.
The vast majority of the remaining 78 cited were reported missing during the Thaksin Shinawatra administration’s war on drugs in 2003 in the North.
Relatives of 38 of them have declared in court that they had no questions regarding the disappearances, she said.
Most of the others were reported missing in several southern border provinces, according to the UN report.