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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


1.28.2004

"Drug-Free" Thailand 

The Drug War Chronicle reports that Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has declared the nation "drug-free". This after a year-long battle that has resulted in "more than 2,700 people killed, tens of thousands arrested, and hundreds of thousands more sentenced to drug treatment camps." Under a Thai law imposed last year users are to be imprisoned and dealers executed. Apparently this mandate has been carried out in part by government death squads.
"During the anti-drugs campaign launched by the government from 1 February to 30 April 2003, the Thai Government appeared to condone killings of drug suspects by unknown assailants as one method of fighting the "drugs war," concluded Amnesty International in a report released in October. "According to official statements, 2,245 drug suspects were killed during the three month campaign. However, the government has failed to initiate independent, impartial, effective and prompt investigations into these killings, and as a result those found responsible have not been known to have been brought to justice."

Not surprisingly, the US DEA has hailed the victory.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration official in charge in Thailand wasn't worried about human rights. Last week, as he witnessed a bonfire of seized ya-ba pills, William Snipes, Southeast Asia regional DEA director told reporters so far so good, but cautioned that victory could be fleeting. "Whether that's a lasting effect, we'll have to wait and see. Temporarily, we look at it as successful," he said.
I wonder if, given the opportunity, the DEA would institute its own death squads to hunt down "suspected" drug dealers in America...

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