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Somchai Neelapaijit (Thai - สมชาย นีละไพจิตร) (May 13, 1951 – last seen in 2004), a Thai Muslim-lawyer and human rights activist who "disappeared" on March 12, 2004 during Thaksin Shinawatra's regime. Strongly suspected to be deceased, he is still the subject of an investigation launched in 2004. Ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is believed by many interested in the case to have played a part in Somchai's disappearance and probable murder. Though his body has not found, the motive is thought to have been Somchai's representing Muslim defendants in terrorism cases. The day after Somchai's disappearance, concerns were publicly raised. In response, Thaksin said, "Oh, don't worry. I understand he had a fight with his wife, and will probably be back home in a day or two."[this quote needs a citation]
Prime minister's acknowledgement of government officials' involvement in death
In 2014 the Bangkok Post reported, "In January 2006, the court acquitted four of the accused but convicted Pol Major Ngern of the relatively minor charge of coercion. Then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra made a significant statement a day after the court verdict acknowledging that Somchai was dead and government officials were implicated".
In late 2013 the Thai Department of Special Investigation said the police file of the case had gone missing, but later claimed it had been found. The actual status of the case and even which department is handling it is still unknown, although ten years has passed since Somchai's disappearance.
The case of the (probable) death of Somchai Neelaphaijit has not been solved.
- Achara Ashayagachat (2014-03-05). "Somchai case unresolved 10 years on". Bangkok Post.
- http://www.humanrights.asia/news/alrc-news/human-rights-council/hrc25/ALRC-CWS-25-12-2014 THAILAND: Ten years without justice for Somchai Neelaphaijit
- Lawyer’s Disappearance Darkens Rights Climate accessed 6 June 2008
- Reading Between the Lines by Angkhana Neelapaichit (2009); publisher: Working Group on Justice for Peace
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