Mounting evidence of mass executionsClips from Patrick Watson’s “The Struggle For Democracy” (1989)and “Chinese Justice” (1920’s?) illustrate the mounting evidence of the mass executions in drug crime cases in Thailand, China and elsewhere. Ends with an up-beat appearance by DML on Fairchild TV – (Chinese community TV in Vancouver!) about US – Canadian attitudes on drug crimes and the death penalty.
The Patrick Watson I borrowed from the local library. The Dope Mania “Chinese Justice” clip I rented from the local video store. Everything else except for the Amnesty International report I got off the internet or from CC magazine. It IS mounting evidence.
Also see the latest CC magazine – Issue #44 – “Thailand’s anti-drug death squads 2,274 killed in three-month methamphetamine crack-down.”
More on Thailand:
Thailand’s Murderous Drug War
By Paul Handley, Pacific News Service
June 10, 2003
Just a few weeks before President George Bush launched the attack on Iraq, Thailand’s Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra declared his own war, against the country’s stubborn methamphetamine trade.
Over the following three months, while most of the world’s attention was on the Middle East, Thai military and police-controlled hit squads shot to death nearly 2,300 people, in their homes, in the middle of the street, and sometimes just after taking them into custody. At the peak, these extrajudicial executions topped 40 a day.
While officially denying the government was running a murder campaign, Thaksin, a former police officer, cheered the deaths as a victory over the narcotics trade. Yet, if involved in drugs at all, the victims were nearly all petty users and small dealers. The dead include several children and a number of apparently misidentified people. In some cases, the police had only scant evidence – such as the accusation of a business rival – upon which they made their decision to kill.
Meanwhile, actual kingpins of the drug trade, many with connections in police, military and political circles, are getting the soft touch, if pursued at all.
The campaign is striking in that it represents the reversal of two decades of steady progress toward rule of law and human rights in Thailand. Equally stunning is that it has elicited no comment from Washington. In a demonstration of the Bush administration’s essential disinterest in human rights and democratic development, the United States so far has found no need to criticize or censure Thaksin and his government.
As President Bush welcomes Thaksin to Washington this week to honor his support for the U.S. effort against Iraq, Bush could express his outrage at the murderous campaign – but he likely will not.
Thailand is one of the unidentified states in the U.S. “coalition of the willing.” Officially neutral in the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Bangkok has been hugely cooperative since 9/11 in everything from U.S. military logistics to CIA searches for al Qaeda agents.
Such cooperation seems to have lent Thaksin the confidence to launch this campaign of illegal executions. Thailand has suffered for several years a flood of methamphetamines – “ya ba”, or “crazy drug” – from labs in the Golden Triangle, the border areas of Thailand, Burma and Laos where heroin is produced. The drugs have resulted in substantial social problems, but have by no means been as unmanageable or turbulent as the 1980s crack wave in the United States.
There is no doubt who is doing the killing, and Thaksin and his top officials are openly proud of the body count. Police Lt. Gen. Chidchai Vanasatidya, secretary-general of the government’s Narcotics Control Board, told reporters that the results were “better than our expectations,” and that few people had complained about it.
In fact, Thai newspapers and human rights activists, defying government pressure to cheer the campaign, have spoken out against it. International human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also condemned the killings.
But the State Department and White House have remained silent. Since the Carter administration, human rights has been a keystone of U.S. foreign policy, a tool sometimes wielded with significant effect.
The policy has helped advance democratic processes and rule of law in a number of countries, including Thailand. It is a policy that recognized that, over time, Washington’s uncritical partnerships with cooperative but brutal and undemocratic leaders have a tendency to bring “blowback” – negative repercussions – to the United States.
To be sure, the Bush government has responded to some human rights abuses. When Cuba arrested, tried and imprisoned a large group of dissidents a few months ago, the State Department reacted with lightning speed and vehement language, threatening tough sanctions and eventually expelling 14 Cuban diplomats from the United States.
And when Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested by the ruling junta last week, it drew an equally quick and sharp condemnation. But both countries’ relations with the United States are already tenuous. Condemning them is little more than an ongoing exercise for Washington.
Thailand, on the other hand, is a close ally. Yet in summarily executing nearly 2,300 people, Bangkok hasn’t even put up a pretense of maintaining rule of law.
Instead of criticizing this suspension of law and stifling of critics, Washington in May sent some 7,000 U.S. troops to join Thai forces in annual exercises. The message this sends is as clear as it was in the Cold War: As long as you are on Washington’s side, anything goes.
Paul Handley, a freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area, reported from Bangkok for 12 years, until 2001.
Thailand: Chiang Rai Drug Forum:
War On Drugs Set To Escalate
by Piyanart Srivalo, Don Pathan, (24 Jul 2003) Nation Thailand
Ministers from Thailand, India, Laos, Burma and China are poised to announce a Chiang Rai Declaration outlining their political commitment to curbing the flow of narcotics and precursor chemicals within the region.
The ministers, including Justice Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana, will meet today in Chiang Rai as part of a regional drug forum.
Yesterday’s meeting of senior official focused on formulating a common strategy on how to contain precursor chemicals, legally produced in many countries in the region but sold on the black market to producers of illicit drugs like heroin and methamphetamines.
The forum, which for the first time includes India, was expected to green-light the establishment of a network that would bypass bureaucratic red tape by linking the respective counter-narcotics agencies of each country, said Pol Lt-General Chidchai Vanasatidya, secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotic Control Board ( ONCB ).
Burma suggested a working group be established to follow up on the agreed plan, said Pitaya Jinawat, director of the ONCB’s northern branch.
Market access in foreign countries, including the US and in Europe, for farmers who have switched from opium cultivation to legitimate crops would be high on today’s agenda when ministers meet, Chidchai said.
The border areas of Thailand, Laos and Burma, known as the Golden Triangle, continue to be the world’s largest producer of opium and the main supplier of heroin.
In spite of millions of dollars being spent over the past three decades to try to curb the drug trade, narcotics production in the region continues to grow steadily, while Thailand’s western neighbour, Burma, has become Asia’s biggest producer of methamphetamines, known locally as ya ba.
One ONCB report said Burma produced about 828 tonnes of opium last year – a close second to Afghanistan, which has emerged in recent years as the key producer of the grade-four heroin currently flooding Southeast Asia and Australia.
Another ONCB report estimated that about 700-million methamphetamine tablets, cheaply produced in clandestine labs in Burma’s Shan State, had flooded Thailand in the past year alone.
Pol Lt-General Prung Boonphadung, Police Fifth Region commissioner and the man responsible for law enforcement in the five northern-most provinces, said police were keeping a close watch on the synthetic drug crystal methamphetamine, or ice, after the recent overdose deaths of two Taiwanese traffickers.
“We believed they were testing out the product,” Prung said.
One kilogram of ice, a very potent and deadly precursor chemical, could produce anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000 methamphetamine tablets, he said.
Thailand has singled out the pro-Rangoon United Wa State Army, Kokang Chinese and Kachin Independent Army, all of which are remnants of the now-defunct Communist Party of Burma ( CPB ) and situated in Burma’s section of the Golden Triangle, as being responsible for much of the opium and heroin flowing through the region.
But Burma, in its report presented at the meeting yesterday, said the three bodies had made great efforts to turn their respective autonomous areas into drug-free zones.
Analysts say the region’s drug problem will continue until a real political solution to Burma’s political and ethnic problems can be found.
Thailand has stepped up security along the northern border over the past five years, resulting in a “balloon effect” on the trafficking route.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Wang Qian-rong, China’s Narcotic Control Bureau deputy secretary general, said the “balloon effect” had resulted in more drugs entering China’s Yunnan province.
MAP posted-by: Josh
Pubdate: Thu, 24 Jul 2003
Source: Nation, The (Thailand)
Copyright: 2003 Nation Multimedia Group
Contact: [email protected]
Author: Piyanart Srivalo, Don Pathan
China: 26 Sentenced To Death In Southern China
(10 Aug 2003) Khaleej Times China
BEIJING – Twenty-six convicted criminals were collectively sentenced to death in China’s southern city of Guangzhou as part of a government effort to clear a back-log of cases awaiting verdict, state press reported on Sunday.
The 26 criminals were mostly convicted of “drug trafficking and other heinous crimes”, and were sentenced to death on Saturday, the China News Service reported.
The collective death sentence was delivered under heavy security at the Guangzhou municipal court with some 150 armed police and security guards maintaining order, the report said.
Among those sentenced to death was Liu Maoliang, who was convicted of trafficking up to 2.5 kilograms ( 5.5 pounds ) of illegal drugs, including heroin, it said.
Liu was first detained in January 2001 and should have been sentenced by November 2002. His 32 months in criminal detention violated existing Chinese regulations on the amount of time suspects can be held before their cases reach a final verdict, the report said without elaboration.
The length of Liu’s detention was the longest among the 26 who were sentenced to death.
His case was delayed “because of a lack of jail space and other reasons”, the report said, without further explanation.
China’s state prosecutor’s office began clearing away back logged cases on August 1, the report said. China liberally uses the death penalty in its court rulings but regards the number of executions as a closely guarded state secret.
According to a book titled “Disidai” purportedly written by a high-placed government source and published recently in the United States, China has executed up to 15,000 people a year during its four-year-old “strike hard” campaign against crime.
Last month the government announced that the campaign would continue for at least another year.
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart
Pubdate: Sun, 10 Aug 2003
Source: Khaleej Times (UAE)
Copyright: 2003 Khaleej Times
Contact: [email protected]
Chinese drug-war execution frenzy
From 1990 to the end of 1998, Amnesty International recorded more than 25,400 death sentences and 16,600 executions.
* From 1990 to the end of 1998, Amnesty International recorded more than 25,400 death sentences and 16,600 executions. These statistics, however, are believed to fall far short of the real figures, as only a fraction of death sentences and executions carried out in the country are publicly reported.
*Based on incomplete public reports in 1998, Amnesty International recorded at least 2,701 death sentences and at least 1,769 confirmed executions in China.
*In June 1998 Amnesty International recorded 504 death sentences and 285 executions whereas in May 2000 Amnesty recorded 178 death sentences.
*In China the death penalty is used extensively, arbitrarily and frequently as a result of political interference.
*There are often mass executions during major events or on public holidays, such as 1 January and the Chinese New Year.
*June 26 is the United Nations designated International Anti-Drugs day. Each year China executes scores of people for drug offences on or around this date.
*Even based on this limited record, the government continues to execute many more people than the rest of the world put together. Execution is by shooting or lethal injection. A revision to the Criminal Code in March 1997 confirmed the increasing scope for the use of the death penalty.
From: [email protected]
Date: Jul 1 2000 00:11:32
The number of registered drug addicts in China has risen from 681,000 in 1999 to 860,000 in 2000, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
China kills 57 on anti-drug day
June 26, 2001 Posted: 11:36 AM EDT (1536 GMT)
*China executed more people in the last three months than the rest of the world did in the past three years, the human rights group Amnesty International says.
*In southern Hunan province, police reported solving 3,000 cases in two days in April, Amnesty International said. And in south-western Sichuan province, police reportedly said they apprehended 19,446 people in six days.
*”The potential for miscarriages of justice, arbitrary sentencing and the execution of innocent people is immense,” the group said. Most executions in China take place after sentencing rallies in front of massive crowds in sports stadiums and public squares.
Friday, 6 July, 2001, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
China ‘outstrips world’ on executions
CHINA OFFERS HARSH CURE FOR NATION’S DRUG ADDICTS BEIJING ( AP )
China’s response to the problem is Draconian. Traffickers are often executed. Users are packed off to detoxification centers and labor camps — 67,000 of them in the first six months of this year, says the government-run Xinhua News Agency. Police need not consult courts — a urine test and an admittance of drug use is enough for them to send people away.
Inmates who can afford it must pay — $845 for three months, more if they stay longer, said the camp’s director, Lu Qiulin. Most inmates have used heroin. Less than 10 percent stay off drugs after release, Lu said.
In the past decade, the number of known drug addicts has risen from 70,000 to 860,000 last year, says the Ministry of Public Security. Experts say the actual figure probably tops 4 million; most are under age 35.
Pubdate: Tue, 25 Dec 2001
Source: Bergen Record (NJ)
Copyright: 2001 Bergen Record Corp.
Contact: [email protected]
Author: John Leicester, The Associated Press
For more drug war info., check out www.mapinc.org
China: China Sends Teenage Addicts To Mental Hospitals
CHINA is executing drug dealers every week and locking up users, some of them under 18, in mental hospitals. The harsh regime is designed to contain a drugs epidemic seen as a threat to social stability. China traditionally has been plagued by opium, although the Communist Party temporarily eradicated drug use. Now synthetic drugs from the former Soviet Union are replacing opium derivatives such as heroin. Official figures show that the use of drugs, including Ecstasy and amphetamines, is up by more than 25 per cent on last year. The official number of addicts is 860,000 in a population of 1.2 billion. The crackdown has had a sharp effect on young club-goers, particularly in coastal cities. Many wind up in mental hospitals and are left there until a 3,000 bribe is paid.
– The Times, (UK), Mon, 12 Feb 2001
*In December 1990 a revision to the legislation controlling narcotics lowered the minimum criteria for imposing the death penalty and increased the number of drug-related offences punishable by death.
*The use of the death penalty in China is characterized by a disregard for international norms for a fair trial. Those who suffer most as a result are the poor and the less educated, who are often unaware of their rights and of the legislation that leads to their execution.
*The police often detain suspects for months to interrogate them and obtain confessions. Once a court decides to adjudicate a case, detainees can seek the assistance of a lawyer, but they often have no time to prepare an effective defense.
*There is no presumption of innocence in Chinese legal practice. In most cases, prisoners have no recourse beyond a single appeal. They are reportedly not told of the rejection of their appeal until a few hours before execution.
*Executed prisoners are a source of organs for transplants, even though they are not always asked for their consent.
Amnesty International, Oct. 1995, The Death Penalty: No Solution to Illicit Drugs
China executes 64 to mark UN anti-drug day
June 27 2002
China marked a UN anti-drug day by executing 64 people accused of drug crimes, officials and state media said yesterday.
Many of the executions came immediately after public rallies where thousands watched judges condemn the accused.
China usually marks International Anti-Drug Day on June 26 with a wave of publicised executions.
They underscored authorities’ belief that harsh punishments are an effective weapon against the spread of drugs. UN officials have said they do not condone the practice.
Another 188 people also accused of drug crimes were given prison terms of up to life at the rallies.
The biggest number of executions came in the south-western city of Chongqing, where 24 people were shot today for drug crimes, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
The report said most of those executed were found guilty of trafficking heroin.
Executions in China are usually by gunshot to the back of the head or through the heart.
In Shanghai three men were executed after being condemned in front of 1,000 people for smuggling heroin, ecstasy and crystal methamphetamine – also known as “ice,” said a spokesman for the Shanghai Higher People’s Court, which organised the rally.
Another 52 people accused of drug crimes got prison terms of a few years to life, said the spokesman, Huang.
In the south-west city of Chengdu, nine men were shot yesterday after a rally in which thousands cheered as police burned piles of seized heroin and ecstasy, a state-run newspaper said.
Five more people were given suspended death sentences, usually reduced to life sentences for good behaviour, said the Sichuan Zaixian Yitianfu newspaper.
Other executions were carried out in the southern and eastern provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui, and in the capital Beijing.
Drug use was all but wiped out after the Communist Party swept to power in 1949. Dealers were shot and addicts forced to quit cold turkey.
Drugs returned with relaxed social and economic controls in the 1980s. China had more than 900,000 drug addicts as of the end of 2001, state media reported.
China executes dozens ahead of Congress
Staff and wires
Thursday, November 7, 2002 Posted: 3:49 AM EST (0849 GMT)
HONG KONG, China — China has executed 46 people in two days, ahead of the 16th Communist Party Congress, human rights group Amnesty International has said.
Last week 29 people were executed in Chongqing province and on Hainan island. Two days later 17 were executed in Henan province, Amnesty International said in a press statement.
“China continues to go against the worldwide trend towards abolition of the death penalty,” Amnesty commented.
Earlier this week 36 gang members were sentenced to death or prison in the northeastern city of Changchun for murder and other crimes, state media Xinhua reported according to Reuters news agency.
In the lead up to Friday’s opening of the Communist Party Congress, which is held once every five years, strict controls have been placed on the media, along with tighter regulations controlling internet usage.
Minister of Public Security Jia Chunwang has called upon police units in the provinces and cities to raise their guard against anti-government activities and other mishaps.
At the same time, the media has been asked not to report — or at least to play down — news considered “socially destabilizing”.
Fighting increasing crime has been a focus for the communist government, and its so-called “Strike Hard” campaign against crime is said to have contributed to an increase in executions.
Amnesty claims over 4000 death sentences have been handed down since China introduced the “Strike Hard” campaign in April 2001, while 2,468 people have been executed.
However, the group has stressed obtaining accurate figures is difficult.
Since 1990, China has executed some 20,000 people. Many of those condemned to death in China may have been tortured to extract a confession and speed up the trial procedure, Amnesty claims.
Prisoners are sentenced in front of crowds reportedly as large as two million people, before being paraded through the streets to firing squads in nearby fields or courtyards, according to Chinese media reports.
The most common form of execution in China is a shot to the back of the head.
However, earlier this year the government announced that it was looking to expand use of lethal injection as a more “humane” method.
China launches ‘people’s war’ on drugs
Treatment, executions designed to combat addiction
From Correspondent Terry Ozanich
May 27, 1997
Web posted at: 11:37 a.m. EDT (1537 GMT)
BEIJING (CNN) — China’s economic boom of the past decade has brought with it an unintended consequence — a rise in drug abuse.
Estimates are that nearly half a million people under the age of 35 are hooked on hard drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines. In response, officials have launched a “people’s war against drugs,” which includes execution of drug dealers and mandatory, rigorous treatment for addicts.
Chinese officials say they are determined not to allow a repeat of the widespread opium addiction that afflicted Chinese society prior to the Communists coming to power in 1949.
“Today, in our socialist country under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, we would never allow drugs to spread unchecked,” says Ruan Zengyi of the Beijing Anti-Drug Committee.
New drugs joining scene with heroin
Heroin is China’s biggest drug problem, due largely to the country’s proximity to the Golden Triangle, the area where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet. The opium fields of the region provide one of the world’s largest heroin sources.
More recently, though, methamphetamines and the so-called designer drug Ecstasy — known here as “head-rocking pills” — have become more popular, particularly among young people in China’s cities.
At the forefront of China’s war on drugs is state-run television, which routinely broadcasts footage of police drug crackdowns.
Program combines discipline, indoctrination
At the Beijing Compulsory Drug Rehabilitation Center, patients are subjected to a regimen that combines the medical care of a hospital with the discipline of a prison.
They are dressed identically in blue-and-white striped uniforms. The rehabilitation period lasts from three to six months, during which time exercise and a close monitoring of patients are all part of the daily routine.
The first two weeks are the toughest, since that’s how long is takes to overcome a physical dependency on heroin.
Patients also sit through countless lectures on drug laws and are inundated with anti-drug propaganda. On the wall in front of them hang, in red letters, the slogan “forced drug abstention in accordance with the law.”
Treatment is also expensive, costing most people more than half a year’s wages.
New drug crackdown similar to 1950s campaign
The use of mandatory treatment and execution of dealers to stem the drug tide has worked before in China. In the 1950s, in the early years of the Communist era, those policies all but eliminated drug use in China.
It remains to be seen how well that approach will work this time, in today’s new, more open China
Saudi Arabia: Saudis Behead Two Drug Dealers
(11 Aug 2003) Edmonton Sun Saudi Arabia
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia ( AP )– Two days after Canadian William Sampson was spared a death sentence and released from a Saudi jail, the Mideast kingdom beheaded two foreigners convicted of drug trafficking, the official Saudi Press Agency reported yesterday.
Lal Rahman Habiballah Khan of Pakistan was arrested while smuggling heroin to Saudi Arabia, according to SPA. He was executed in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Asadallah bin Mohammed Jan bin Rahim Dad of Afghanistan was also beheaded yesterday in the Red Sea port city of Jiddah. He had been convicted of trying to smuggle heroin into the kingdom, SPA said.
The executions raised the number of beheadings this year to 30. Last year, at least 49 people – including two women – were beheaded.
Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam law, under which people convicted of murder, rape, drug trafficking and armed robbery are executed in public. Beheadings are carried out with swords.
Sampson, 44, spent 31 months in a Saudi jail after being convicted and sentenced to death along with a British man for a fatal car bombing in November 2000. On Friday, Saudi Arabia released the six men and another who had been held without charge after King Fahd granted them all clemency.
Sampson and his fellow detainees have denied any role in the bombings that began in Riyadh in 2000, blamed on a turf war between rival gangs dealing in illegal alcohol, which is forbidden in the Muslim country.
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
Pubdate: Mon, 11 Aug 2003
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2003, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Contact: [email protected]
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/heroin.htm (Heroin)
Please check out my super cool website:
It’s especially for activists and people who want to know the nitty gritty on the herb. The most recent issues were the “Ancient History” issues – sure to please.