The ultimate censorship-Bangkok Post

January 21, 2008

[FACT comments: Kidnapping, forced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial murder are the ultimate censorship. The Thai government officially accepts that there were more than 2,500 extrajudicial killings during Thaksin’s several wars on drugs. However, Amnesty International suggests that the figure is far higher, as many as 7,000. [Incidentally, that’s the government the Thai people elected, again.] How can we have any hope for the future of Thailand when police can’t find one prominent missing lawyer or a single murderer in each of 2,500 deaths? “No one” did it!]

No drugs war killers found
Investigators’ final report blames no one
ANUCHA CHAROENPO
Bangkok Post: January 21, 2008

Nakhon Ratchasima _ The inquiry into the extra-judicial killings during the war on drugs by those serving under the Thaksin Shinawatra government has found no evidence which would enable the punishment of those involved, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said yesterday. More than 2,500 people are believed to have been killed.

Gen Surayud said he had just received a final report from panel chairman Khanit na Nakhon stating that no one could be held to blame for the killings.

”Due to lack of evidence, as many witnesses have refused to come forward to provide vital information to the investigators, this panel couldn’t hold anyone responsible,” he said when leading reporters on a tour of his resort home in Khao Yai Thieng in Sikhiu district.

The committee, formally known as the Independent Commission for Study and Analysis of the Formation and Implementation of Drug Suppression Policy (ICID), was appointed by the Surayud government in August last year.

It has 12 members, including senior criminal justice officials, law enforcement officers, and human rights defenders. It had been given 10 months to investigate the deaths of about 2,500 people killed during the three-month anti-drugs drive from Feb 1 to April 30, 2003.

The ICID was not the only agency which was unsuccessful in solving cases involving human rights abuses committed during the Thaksin regime.

The Department of Special Investigation also failed to name those behind the disappearance of Muslim lawyer Somchai Neelaphaijit.

”Even though the investigators have the names of people they believe were involved in the disappearance of Mr Somchai, they still can’t find substantial evidence to press charges against them,” Gen Surayud said.

Mr Somchai, who is now presumed dead, went missing four years ago. After his disappearance, police arrested five suspects, all of them police officers.

His family, colleagues and human rights activists believe his disappearance was related to his work as a defence lawyer for Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist suspects from the South.

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