Resumption of executions in Thailand criticised
The Thai government has attracted widespread condemnation from the global abolitionist movement after it had two drug traffickers executed.
Bundit Jaroenwanit (45), and Jirawat Poompreuk (52) were executed in Bangkok’s Bang Kwang prison on August 24, 2009. They had been convicted of drug trafficking in March 2001.
Those executions were the first in Thailand since 2003. They provoked reactions from several World Coalition member organizations. “ACAT-France regrets the resumption of executions in Thailand, at a time when there is a global trend in favour of the abolition of the death penalty”, the Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture said in a communiqué.
“A major step backwards”
Donna Guest, Deputy Director of Amnesty International‘s Asia Pacific Programme, expressed a similar position: “As country after country abandons its use of judicial state killing, the resumption of executions in Thailand is a major step backwards,” she said.
In its communiqué, “ACAT-France calls on the Thai government to:
– remove drug-related offences from the scope of the death penalty;
– impose a moratorium on capital punishment and commute all death sentences, in accordance with resolution 63/430 adopted on December 18, 2008 by the United Nations’ General Assembly.”
The Swedish presidency of the European Union also released a statement of protest. “The European Union regrets that the executions mark the end of a near six year-long de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Thailand,” the statement read.
Thailand was among the countries targeted in a joint campaign launched by several international human rights NGOs on June 26, 2009 to end the use of the death penalty in drug trafficking cases.
Slideshow: corrections and execution facilities in Thailand