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Justice Ministry To Re-Examine 'Drug War' Killings

Thai News Agency, Nov. 14, 2006

BANGKOK, Nov 14 (TNA) - Justice Ministry officials are now collecting evidence related to the extra-judicial killings of some 2,500 people during the Thaksin government's war on drugs campaign, said a senior official of the ministry.

Jarun Pukditanakul, Permanent Secretary for Justice, told journalists that concerned officials were now collecting evidence after complaints were lodged and said that he expected that the re-examination process should be completed soon.

Asked whether the decision to re-examine possible human rights violations was adopted after a request by Kraisak Choonhavan, a former Nakhon Ratchasima senator, Mr. Jarun said that Mr. Kraisak only submitted evidence on a former senator who was shot dead in the South.

Mr. Kraisak on Monday called on the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to probe human rights violations in the three southern provinces --Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala. He said the death of former Narathiwat senator Fakruddin Boto was suspicious and may have involved government officials.

Mr. Jarun said the request to re-examine the alleged extra-judicial killings is to be carried out because the issues are being watched by the United Nations and it is necessary for the Thai government to answer the truth.

In 2005, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights sought clarification from the now toppled government of Thaksin Shinawatra about the deaths, saying a report submitted by Thailand was incomplete and posed 26 questions.

It sought information on measures taken by the former government to protect the rights of suspects killed by law-enforcement personnel and investigations on the large number of killings during the "war on drugs" and the results of formal inquiries. (TNA)-E111

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