Local and international rights groups will today call for an end to enforced disappearances in ASEAN, citing recent alleged cases that include a 16-year-old Cambodian boy who went missing during a crackdown on garment worker protests in January.
Groups including the International Federation for Human Rights, the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee and Adhoc will release a statement today – the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances – urging ASEAN member states to act.
Khim Saphath, who was last seen with blood pouring from his chest on January 3 as security forces opened fire on workers, is cited as one of three recent cases in the region in which “evidence suggests direct involvement, complicity or acquiescence of government authorities in these disappearances”.
Saphath hasn’t been seen since, and his family held a funeral for him in January. Neither the Interior Ministry spokesman nor the National Police spokesman could be reached for comment, but authorities have previously said they searched extensively for Saphath.