The prosecution of a prominent land rights activist is part of a legal campaign that may lead to the eviction of dozens of families living in Sai Thong National Park. Since 2014 forest communities across the country have been targeted as part of the military government’s forest reclamation policy.
A land rights activist whose husband was disappeared last year is serving a six-month sentence in prison for encroaching on national forest reserves. Her fellow community members continue to organize resistance as their numbers dwindle.
The Supreme Court of Thailand confirmed a three-year sentence against Kong Phongsakban, a 64-year-old farmer from Jatrabiab village in Sakon Nakhon Province who was charged with encroaching on government land.
“That’s a threat. I’m afraid enough as it is. Stop your threatening me,” Nittaya Muangklang spits back at a national park officer in argument over the eviction of her village, a fate that many communities of small-scale farmers in the park are facing.