In Brief

Thailand: bodies ‘stuffed with concrete’ found in Mekong river

Police fear the two victims are missing political activists

Thai officials believe that two concrete-filled bodies found on the banks of the Mekong river may be those of missing political activists.

The corpses of the two unidentified men were discovered in sacks that washed up in the northwestern province of Nakhon Phanom on Monday.

Both were “handcuffed and with their ankles tied together”, the Bangkok Post reports. “Their bellies had been ripped open and chunks of concrete stuffed inside them.”

Nakhon Phanom police commander Thanachart Rodkhlongtan said detectives believe that the men were murdered about a week ago and that their bodies were dumped in the Mekong up to five days before they were found.

“The victims have not yet been identified but it is believed they could be political activists who disappeared in Bangkok,” says The Independent.

In November, Reuters reported that “more than 59 land and environmental activists have been killed or have disappeared in Thailand over the last 20 years”, citing advocacy group Protection International.

Sources told the Bangkok Post that Thailand’s national police chief, Chakthip Chaijinda, has ordered an investigation into the theory that the latest deaths were politically motivated.

Police will attempt to identify the two bodies through DNA testing and interviews with relatives of missing activists.

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