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Netiporn "Bung" Sanesangkhom

Thalu Wang

Netiporn "Bung" Sanesangkhom was a Thai woman human rights defender and a member of the monarchy reform group Thalu Wang, which campaigns for the amendment Article 112 of Thailand’s royal defamation ‘lèse-majesté’ law, that has continuously been used to punish anyone perceived to defame, insult, or threaten the Thai monarchy.

The Thai woman human rights defender was actively engaged in pro-democracy demonstrations that took place in Thailand during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. She spent two months in prison on Article 112 charges before being released on bail in August 2022. Netiporn "Bung" Sanesangkhom was detained once again on 26 January 2024, and began a hunger strike that lasted for 110 days, ultimately leading to her suffering cardiac arrest in pre-trial detention on 14 May 2024.

After seizing power in a 2014 coup, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has maintained its grip on the country through an array of restrictive laws. The junta’s intolerance of dissenting opinions has resulted in a challenging climate for human rights defenders. Judicial harassment, which remains one of the most common tools to silence HRDs, has intensified, with defamation and other criminal and civil charges being brought against them. There are reports of surveillance of HRDs, both physical and online, intimidation, public smear campaigns and threats. A number of events, including the launching of human rights reports, have been disrupted and public gatherings banned. HRDs also face physical assaults, arbitrary detention and extrajudicial killings.