Los Angeles Times

Crackdown strikes fear in Thai dissidents

SINGAPORE - Early in December, Surachai Danwattananusorn went uncharacteristically silent.

The septuagenarian Thai dissident stopped recording the fortnightly podcast he had hosted for years from exile in Laos. Text messages from his wife in Thailand went unanswered.

Two weeks later, the bodies of two of his colleagues were found floating in the Mekong River between Thailand and Laos. They had been handcuffed and strangled with a rope, their stomachs disemboweled and stuffed with concrete.

Surachai remains missing and is feared dead - the most prominent of a wave of exiles who have been arrested, abducted, disappeared or killed in recent months in a shadowy crackdown against critics of the twin pillars

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