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Thai Death Squads Could Target Foreign Drug Tourists

Author: Jonty Adderley (
Saturday, February 15, 2003
Backpackers holidaying in Thailand risk being seized from dance floors and drug tested on the spot, according to alarming reports published this week about the south East Asia's country's latest murderous anti-drugs crusade.

"Drug users (as well as dealers) are also being targeted, including foreigners who indulge during their stay in Thailand," a report in Scotland On Sunday revealed.

"Raids on nightclubs and bars appear to be on the increase, and foreigners are often forced to undergo urine tests for banned substances."

The increased threat to clubbing tourists is particularly ominous since at least 91 (ninety one) people have been shot dead since the authorities launched a new anti-drug campaign, prompting opposition politicians and civil liberties campaigners to accuse Thai police of operating as death squads.

"Police should not take the law into their own hands. They should arrest and try suspects," opposition leader and former Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai told local reporters (Associated Press).

"Shoot-to-kill is a measure used by authoritarian governments not an elected democracy."

Amnesty international's Srirak Plipat, director of Amnesty Thailand, also complained about the new Thai approach, telling Scotland On Sunday, "We call on the government to respect human rights and bring drug dealers to trial, not just execute them."

Despite such horrific accusations, Thai officials appeared unconcerned, Interior Minister Wan Mohamad Noor Matha scoffing, 'I think human rights activists shouldn't worry too much about these traffickers' lives'.

"Who cares- They are destroying our country."

Thailand's police are also notoriously corrupt, meaning anyone could be at risk of having drugs planted on them, throughout the entire country.