Thai Police: A Lao Activist’s Relatives May Murder Him

Thai police are still investigating who killed Mr. Kitiyano Bounsuan, a 56-year-old anti-Lao government activist, and why. There are two plausible explanations: one, he was opposed to what the Lao government was doing; second, his relatives are upset with him since he caused them to be pursued and arrested by the government.

Kitiyano was shot with three bullets while riding a motorcycle and died in Song Khon Subdistrict, Si Mueang Mai District, Ubon Ratchathani Province, northeastern Thailand, bordering Laos, on May 17.

Song Khon Subdistrict is home to Mr. Kittiyano. While attending the celebration, he was shot at in Ban Nonjik, Warin Subdistrict, and Sri Mueang Mai District. On the day of the incident, the police brought five witnesses to testify, including Mr. Kittiyano’s acquaintance, who lives in Song Khon Subdistrict.

According to UNHCR sources, Mr. Kittiyano has refugee status and has requested to visit Australia, the third country, next week, because he was aware that he was being sought after joining the Free Laos movement, a Laotian human rights movement.

The Sri Muang Mai Police Station in Ubon Ratchathani Province reported to the Laos Embassy in Thailand that a Laotian with refugee status was shot and died without any family arriving to collect the body at Sappasitthiprasong Hospital’s forensic department.

Many anti-government Lao activists fled to Ubon Ratchatani, resulting in the tracing and murder of numerous movement members in this province. The most recent crime occurred in Pathomphon Village, Warin Chamrap District, approximately five years ago, when an assailant shot and murdered a KTP Movement member in front of their home while cutting down a tree in front of the home.