Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Thaksin accused of "injudicial killings" in Thailand

In Thailand, the military and political opponents who overthrew former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatrais in a coup d'etat, have been joined in human rights actions against him by international NGOs investigating policies which led to the deaths of allegedly 2,500 people in police anti-drug actions authorised by his government. The new owner of English Premier League club Manchester City is even accused by a villager of knowlingly being involved in the public gunning-down of her mother.

As reported by the Sunday Mirror, "Nongkran, 30, has tried in vain to find out why her mother was killed that day. 'I wrote to Mr Thaksin. I wrote to the interior ministry,' she says. 'But they never even bothered to reply. I don't understand those people in England who want him to run their football club. Is money all they care about? Maybe someone in England can provide the answers. How can he do these sort of things to his own people?'"

The family's story has been looked at by Pradit Charoenthaitawee of the military government-backed Thai Human Rights Commission, which is investigating deaths during the drugs war launched by Thaksin in February 2003. Dr Charoenthaitawee said: "I will bring the charges myself privately if need be. We have strong evidence in 400 or so cases. Many of these injudicial killings were carried out in daylight in front of witnesses and many had nothing to do with drugs.It was a massacre. Many innocent people were on the blacklists. And nobody got a trial. It was policemen who carried out these killings."

Thaksin's lawyer, Noppadol Pattama, said the allegations against him are unfounded. "As far as I am concerned, he has never instructed any public officer to execute a drug dealer. We will be able to prove his innocence after the general election when we are sure our client will get a fair trial. We just tried to solve the drug problem in Thailand by getting tough with criminals. But he has never issued any instructions for shoot-to-kill policies. I hope Manchester City fans and British people are fair-minded. They should suspend their judgment before deciding Thaksin is not fit. He is a fit and proper man to run the club," he told the newspaper.

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