Photo Essay


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For Those Who Died Trying
by Luke Duggleby

Mr Ari Songkraw, the vice-President of the Pha Tom Num Conservation Association, was shot dead in a rubber plantation on 30 December 1999, in Kanchanadit District of Surat Thani Province. He was trying to protect the forest from illegal logging.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Charoen Wat-Aksorn, 37, was shot dead while stepping off a bus. The shooting happened on 21 June 2004 in Bo Nok, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. He was the President of the Love Bo Nok Association and relentless campaigner against the construction of coal-powered plants in his locality. He remains Thailand’s most well-known environmental activist.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Narin Phodaeng, 67, was shot dead in his petrol station on 1 May 2001. He was the President of the Khao Chang Klang Thung Environmental Protection and Natural Resource Conservation Association in Khao Chamao District of Rayong Province. The groups were protesting a mining company working at a nearby mountain.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Boonrit Channanrong was shot dead in a rubber plantation on 15 December 2002 in Tha Chana District of Surat Thani Province. He was the leader of a local community working to expose illegal logging by National Park officials.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Boonyong Intawong, 42, was shot dead in his house on 20 December 2002 in Ban Rong Ha village, Amphoe Wiang Chai District of Chiang Rai Province. A leader of a campaign against a mining company, he was targeted after bringing a team from the National Human Rights Commission to see the environmental damage caused by the quarry.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Bunlert Duankoda from Dong Ma Fai sub-district of Nong Bua Lamphu Province, was shot while working in his field after leading a protest over the damage caused by a quarry mining company in 1993.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Chai Bunthonglek was shot dead by two gunmen on 11 February 2015. The 61-year-old member of the Southern Peasant’s Federation of Thailand (SPFT) from Khlong Sai Pattana community of Surat Thani Province was part of a long-time dispute over land rights with a palm oil company. He is the fourth member of the community killed in 5 years.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Thai-Muslim Human Rights Defender Mr Chalor Khaochua, 38, was shot on his way home from prayer at a local mosque on Ko Lanta Island in Krabi Province on 14 February 2003. He was shot 4 times. He was a local activist condemning the illicit drug trade and was killed after presenting proof of police participation in the illegal trade.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Ms Chaweewan Pueksungnoen, a 35-year-old campaigner from Na Klang Tambon Administrative Organisation, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, was shot dead on 21 June 2001 outside her house. She was challenging the mismanagement and corruption in local construction projects that were against public interest.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Chit Thongchit, 54, was shot on his land in Pak Tho District of Ratchaburi Province on 15 January 2009. He died 4 days later in hospital. An ex-policeman, he was shot by a sniper after exposing corruption inside the police force and fought more than 10 corruption cases against police, influential locals and national politicians.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Jun Boonkhunton was shot dead in a field near his village on 22 July 1996. He was the leader of the Assembly of the Poor Thailand who were fighting against the construction of the Phong Khun Phet dam in Chaiyaphum Province.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Jurin Ratchapol, 55, was shot dead on 30 January 2001 after being threatened a few days earlier by the influential owner of a local shrimp farm. He was the leader of the Ban Pa Khlok Conservation Association in Phuket Province, protesting against the project of a shrimp farm that planned to cut down large areas of mangrove forests.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Kamol Lansophapan, 49, was abducted from the Ban Phai Police Station on 7 February 2005 and never seen again. He was an out-spoken anti-corruption activist who was questioning the purchase of land belonging to the Thai State Railway in Ban Phai town in Khon Kaen Province.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Khampan Suksai was shot dead on the main road running through Pa Ngam village in Chiang Mai Province on 20 December 2003. He was a village head who was opposing encroachment into a nearby community forest.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Ms Montha Chukaew, 54, and Ms Pranee Boonrat, 50, were shot and killed while they were on their way to a local market on 19 November 2012. They were members of the Southern Peasants' Federation of Thailand (SPFT). The SPFT is a landless peasants' network formed in 2008 campaigning for the right to agricultural land in the Khlong Sai Pattana community, Surat Thani Province. To intimidate the community further, the gunmen mutilated the bodies of these women.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Ms Pakwipa Chalernklin, 49, was shot dead on 14 October 2004 near her house in Pa Mok District of Ang Thong Province. She was a community member of Baan Hua Krabu group who were fighting against the construction of a container port on the nearby river.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Pitak Tonwut, 30, was shot dead close to his village on 17 May 2001. He was a consultant for the Conserve Chompoo River Basin Network in Noen Maprang District of Phitsanulok Province who were protesting the impact of a nearby quarry.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Pitan Thongpanang, 45, was shot 9 times on a remote dirt track close to his home on 30 November 2014. Mr Pitan was active in opposing mining operations on his community’s land in Nopphitam District of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. He was the lead plaintiff in an on-going case in which the administrative court issued a temporary order to the company involved to halt its mining operations. NOTE: Because of the sensitivity of this case and so as to not endanger his family further, this photograph was taken close-by, but outside the community, on another dirt track identical in appearance.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen, was last seen at a National Park checkpoint on 17 April 2014 after having been detained for apparently illegally collecting wild honey. He was a community leader of the ethnic Karen community living in Kaeng Krachan National Park. He supported the Karen villages of Pong Luk Bang Kloy where more than 20 families suffered from the burning of their homes.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Prajob Naowa-Opas, 43, was shot four times at a garage while fixing his car on 25 February 2013 in Phanom Sarakham District of Chachoengsao Province. He was a prominent environmentalist and led villagers in a campaign to expose the dumping of toxic waste around his village of Nong Nae.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Prawien Bunnak was shot dead outside government buildings on 11 July 1995 in Wang Saphung town in Loei Province. He was the Secretary of the Farmers Assembly Agricultural Cooperative Federation and was leading a protest against the construction of a large quarry.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Preecha Thongpaen, 57, was shot dead on a main road on 27 September 2002 in Thung Song District of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, while campaigning against a poorly conceived sewage treatment plant. He was the leader of the Tambon Kuan Krod Environmental Conservation Group.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Samnao Srisongkhram, 38, was shot dead in a field near his village on 25 November 2003 in Lam Nam Phong village in Khon Kaen Province. He was the President of the Lam Nam Phong Environmental Conservation Association in Ubolratana District. He was leading a fight against the dumping of waste by a paper factory.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Singthong Puttachan was shot dead in his shop on 8 September 2011 in Wiang Chai District of Chiang Rai Province. He was a member of a community opposing the construction of a power plant next to their village. Still to this day the villagers do not know the name of the company that wanted to build the plant.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Sittichock Tamtecha was a member of Surat Thani Provincial Administration and was shot dead at his home on 6 May 1997. He led the protest against the Kang Krung dam and managed to stop an illegal logging permit. Further, he fought against corrupt transport infrastructure projects.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Somchai Neelapaijit, the renowned Thai-Muslim lawyer and human rights activist was abducted on 12 March 2004, in the Ramkhamhaeng District of Bangkok. The motive is thought to have been Somchai’s representing of Muslim defendants in terrorism cases in the deep south provinces who claimed they were tortured.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Somporn Chanpol, 41, shot while he slept in his home on 1 August 2001. He was the President of the Klong Kra Dae Environmental Conservation Group, in Surat Thani Province, who were trying to combat illegal logging in the forest.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Somporn Pattaphum was shot dead on 11 January 2010 during dinner at his home in a community of landless farmers that were living on an expired palm plantation in Surat Thani Province. Despite no legal rights to the land, the palm oil company continued to harvest while allegedly trying to evict the villagers. He was a member of the SPFT.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Somsuk Kohklang, 50, was shot dead on 3 December 2014 in a palm oil plantation. He was a land rights activist who was leading a campaign against a corporate palm oil plantation allegedly encroaching on land given to the communities.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Supol Sirijant, 58, was shot dead in his home on 11 August 2004. He was the leader of the Mae Mok Community Forestry Network in Thoen District of Lampang Province and was fighting against the illegal logging of a nearby community forest.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Suwat Wongpiyasathit, 45, was shot dead inside a shop on 26 June 2001 in Bang Phli District of Samut Prakan Province. He was the leader of a group of villagers campaigning against the relocation of a garbage landfill site proposed to be placed next to their village.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Taksamol Aobaom was shot dead on a highway on 10 September 2011. He was a lawyer campaigning against the ill practices by officials of the Kaeng Krachan National Park against an ethnic Karen community living inside the park.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Tongnuan Kamjen and Mr Som Hompornma were shot dead at the same time on the edge of a road leading to the town of Suwannakhuha in Nong Bua Lamphu Province on 22 April 1999. They were part of a group of villagers protesting the construction of a limestone quarry.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)

Mr Thongnak Sawekchinda, 47, was shot 9 times while sitting outside his home on 28 July 2011 in Samut Sakhon town. Thongnak had led villagers in Mueang, Ban Phaeo, and Krathum Baen Districts in high-profile protests against air pollution including dust and fumes from coal depots and separation factories.

(credit Luke Duggleby / Protection International)