BANGKOK - When members of the exiled Thai protest band Faiyen learned that the concrete-stuffed bodies of two Thai activists who had disappeared from Laos had been found in the Mekong River, they grew worried about their own fates.
A third dissident remained missing. And then in February, three more Laos-based activists who were critics of Thailand's ruling junta vanished, last heard from in Vietnam.
The disappearances have struck fear into the band, whose music and posts online call for revolt against the military and openly criticise the country's monarchy, Thailand's most sacred institution, which is illegal to insult.
They and dozens of other activists who fled after a 2014 army coup think the junta is stepping up efforts to punish them, according to five dissidents who spoke to Reuters.
The wave of disappearances began around the time that Thai junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha visited Laos in December, activists say.