#SaveFaiyen: Thai dissidents at risk of being hunted down in Laos

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Who is Faiyen? They are musicians, students, working people who can’t accept the ruthless slaughter of people numbering 100 lives during April and May 2010 [during a government crackdown on protesters]. And so they decided to come together to express the frustration of the public towards the soldiers killing of citizens and the palace’s indifference to the deaths of the citizens.

And so, ever since 2010, the band Faiyen as being a group of musicians who use music to come together to demand freedom for political prisoners who were arrested in great numbers at that time and to sing music on stage everywhere that are carrying on the struggle.

The members of the group were ordered to report to the council of the 2014 military coup in Thailand, and they decided not to report for the reason that they did not acknowledge the legitimacy of the junta council, and so they decided to cross the Mekong River to Laos, and to spend some time in Laos producing a body of work including many songs and an online radio program every day for presenting their perspectives and reviewing Thai politics in an uncensored way, which is something that that many groups of activists were doing in Laos.

But since June 22, 2016, the Thai refugees’ life in Laos, especially those doing online radio programs, has been increasingly stressful. When Ittipol Sukpaen or DJ Zunho, one of their friends, was kidnapped and disappeared. But still they steadfastly carried on.

On July 29, 2017, Ko Tee, or Wuthipong Kachathamakul, was attacked and captured in full sight of his companions.

On the 12th of December, 2018, Surachai Danwattananusorn and two comrades, “Puchana” or Chatchan Boophawal, and “Gasalong” or Kradet Leulert were taken from their homes in Laos, and this time bodies were later discovered-–those of Puchana and Gaslong along the edge of the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom Province on the 27th and 29th of December 2561.

And at the beginning of 2019 there was the word of the disappearance of Sanam Luang’s team, or Chucheap Chewasut and two people who worked with him, Kritsana Thapthai and Siam Therawut, who stopped contacting anyone at the end of January. And there was news that they had been captured in Vietnam, and then sent back to the Thai government on May 8.

And now, Faiyen has received information from a high agency that the Thai military will attack and kidnap them before May 22 (which means they will be cruelly murdered because no Thai refugee captured from Laos has ever been brought through the justice process. Instead they die and are extinguished without a trace.)

Throughout the last 5 months, the band Faiyen and the refugees in danger of being kidnapped in Laos have been doing the work of applying for asylum through UNHCR at every level asking to go to the European Union, including France, in order to protect them and bring them out of an area of extreme risk.

And at this time, there are already citizens of France expressing their wish to take them in and look after them.

And so we are doing a “SaveFaiyen” “DontKillFaiyen” campaign with the hope that we can get many people joining us to add their signatures within two days.

So that we can give this to UNHCR and the governments of France and Laos on Monday, May 20, in order that the United Nations and both governments know the urgency of protecting the band Faiyen (and in the longer-term, of protecting all the Thai refuges in Laos).

We don't have to push the button many times, but maybe we can save the lives of a team of musicians who dare to confront dictatorship.

#SaveFaiyen #DontKillFaiyen

Thanks to everyone who adds their signature!

Action for Democracy in Thailand (ACT4DEM)

And the Members of the Band Faiyen:

Trairong ‘Khunthong’ SINSEUBPOL
Nithiwat ‘Jom’ WANNASIRI
Chaiyapruek ‘Nui’ SAMANRAK