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Sarayuth Ritthipin

HRD, News Reporter
Isan Land Reform News Agency

is a land rights defender and a news reporter of Isan land reform news agency. This news agency actively reports the movement of landless communities in Isan, Northeastern Thailand. The isan community has been affected by the forest protection policy which was announced in 2014 by the Thai junta on the reclamation and restoration of protected areas nationwide. Around 1800 famililies in Isan has been accused of land encroachment. The junta continues to intimidate, arreste, and evict people in Isan.

Human rights defenders in Thailand face threats, physical assaults, arbitrary detention, judicial harassment, and extrajudicial killings. HRDs most at risk include those working with migrants, particularly along the border with Burma, those who are fighting for economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights, and those working in the conflict zone of the three border provinces in Southern Thailand. The National Human Rights Commission of Thailand has documented 35 cases of extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders between 2003 – 2012, approximately 30 of whom were HRDs working on ESC rights. Many of these cases have not been properly investigated by the authorities.