Environment Magazine

Murder of Environmentalist ‘highlights Thailand’s Failure to Protect Activists’

Posted on the 01 March 2013 by Earth First! Newswire @efjournal

Cross Posted from the Guardian

An international rights group is pressing Thailand to investigate the recent murder of an environmentalist who exposed the dumping of toxic waste, and condemned the government’s “fundamental failure” to protect activists fighting for social and environmental change in the kingdom.

Prajob Nao-opas, 43, was shot four times in broad daylight in Chacheongsao province, 20 miles east of Bangkok, after spending the past year fighting illegal toxic waste disposal by various industrial estates in the region.

“The cold-blooded killing of Prajob marks yet another example of the fundamental failure of Thai authorities to protect activists who risk their lives while defending their communities,” said Human Rights Watch’s Asia director, Brad Adams.

More than 30 human rights defenders and environmentalists have been killed in Thailand since 2001, Adams said, with suspects charged in fewer than one in five cases.

On Monday, Prajob was at a garage waiting for mechanics to finish work on his pickup truck when a gunman arrived at the scene, approached Prajob, fired four shots with an 11mm semi-automatic weapon and escaped. Prajob was rushed to hospital but died on the way.

Local police said the murder was the mark of a professional hitman and that it was likely Prajob’s activism had made him a target, the Bangkok Post reported. Prajob’s campaigning had made national headlines over the exposed waterways and farmland full of industrial runoff in Chacheongsao, where carcinogens had been found at levels 30 times their legal limit, according to the provincial health office.

Prajob had allegedly been warned by police in December that he might be in danger and in January purchased two pistols to protect himself. According to Human Rights Watch, he regularly reported that he was being shadowed by unknown men on motorcycles and in vehicles, including the same car that was allegedly used in his murder.

An official overseeing the toxic disposal in Chacheongsao told the Associated Press that Prajob’s murder “only goes to show that the toxic waste dumping is a big issue that needs national and international attention, since there is likely something else the dumpers were trying to bury”.

Pongin Intarakhao added that his agency, the department of special investigations, would continue to fight the dumping and that investigators had already pressed charges against a Thai man accused of overseeing toxic disposal.

But Adams warned that more needed to be done to bring the perpetrators to justice. “Police investigations have been characterised by half-hearted, inconsistent and inefficient police work, and an unwillingness to tackle questions of collusion between political influences and interests and these killings of activists,” he said.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener
    GARDENING, HOME

Magazine