A new hashtag, #ripwanchalerm, is now the number one trend on Twitter on Wednesday as netizens and the public claim that Wanchalearm Satsaksit has died.
This tragic news, in which the public has suspected for a while, was posted by Thai graffiti artist and activist Headache Stencil’s official Twitter account.
“I got the chance to do a video call with Tar [Wanchalearm’s nickname] Wanchalearm’s sister. I expressed my condolences to the information I received, in which she told me she has known for a while, and thanks us all for still fighting for him. #ripwanchalerm.”
This comes 61 days after Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a Thai activist in exile in Cambodia, was reportedly abducted by unknown persons outside of his apartment building in the country’s capital of Phnom Penh.
“I just knew of Wanchalerm’s [death] recently. I was connected to his sister by a reporter and was able to express my condolences to her,” Headache Stencil told Thai Enquirer on Wednesday. “His sister said that she knew for some time already, but did not go public about it because she did not want any more trouble. But I felt that I had an obligation to speak out about it.”
This has resulted in the currently trending hashtag #ripwanchalerm.
Headache Stencil, known for his bold work in painting political imagery and anti-coup messages over the past couple years, has been drawing cartoons to raise awareness on Wanchalearm’s disappearance and is now reportedly facing harassment by state security officials.
Headache also told Thai Enquirer that he has known for a while that the same people who ordered Wanchalerm to be abducted are the same people that are monitoring him.
“If the same people are involved, I believe that the mainstream media should follow up on this information. But I doubt that they will follow up on this.”
Headache requested not to disclose the source of his information.
Wanchalearm was a political activist known for expressing his views on the current government in Thailand. Thai authorities issued a warrant on him in 2018.