BANGKOK — Rumors that a Thai activist kidnapped in Cambodia has died is circulating on social media Wednesday, although neither the police nor the family were able to confirm his fate.
The claim that Wanchalearm “Ta” Satsaksit, who disappeared in Cambodia in June, is now deceased was first shared by street artist and activist Headache Stencil, who said he received the information from reliable sources.
But Sitanan Satsaksit, Wanchalearm’s sister, said she hasn’t heard anything so far.
“It’s been sixty days since he was gone and there has been no progress on either the Thai or Cambodian side,” Sitanan said by phone. “Please still use the #Save hashtag with him, don’t use #RIP yet.”
Police spokesman Col. Kissana Phathanacharoen also said, “I have no idea if he is dead. I don’t have the information.”
The rumor of Wanchalearm’s death began after artist Headache Stencil said in a series of tweets that the activist was dead, citing his conversations with a source and Sitanan. He also tweeted under the hashtag #RIPWanchalearm.
“If you want to know who ordered Ta’s kidnapping, don’t ask me. Ask the Phra Khanong police superintendent,” he wrote. “I have the right to protect my source. Ask the police and reporters if you want to know more. Don’t ask me where I got this info. What kind of logic are you operating on?”
In a call to Phra Khanong police superintendent Col. Kiattisak Boonpool, Kiattisak said that he was completely unaware of how the case was related to his jurisdiction.
”I have no idea about any of this,” Kiattisak said. “Wanchalearm is in Cambodia. It’s nothing to do with me.”
Sitanan, Wanchalearm’s sister, said that she would travel to Cambodia as soon as travel restrictions allow, to look for her brother.
She also said her family will hold a merit-making ceremony for her Wanchalearm’s birthday on Aug. 11 at Wat Siri Kamala Vas in Bangkok.