Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thailand Reinstates War on Drugs: AAA President Takes Action

In a recent advocacy letter to Thailand Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) president Setha Low and AAA Human Rights Committee Chair Sara Davis voiced their opposition to Thailand’s recently-reinstated war on drugs.

In the letter included below, Low and Davis point to two grave concerns related to Thailand’s new drug war—the barriers to HIV treatment and prevention for injection drug users in Thailand and the high number of extrajudicial executions that occurred during the former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s 2003 drug war and are occurring again under Prime Minister Sundarevej.

Over 600 people have been killed since the launch of the anti-drug campaign in early February, the BBC reported in late February. Other victims of the anti-drug policies include HIV-positive injection drug users, who are denied antiretroviral treatment due to their status as drug users. The Thai government estimates that 40 to 50 percent of injection drug users in Thailand are HIV-positive.


Related Links

Thai Drug Wars Attacked, BBC, February 24, 2008

Thai Crackdown on Drug Dealers, BBC, Feburary 4, 2008

Thailand: Denial of HIV Treatment Erodes Success on HIV, Human Rights News, November 27, 2007

Deadly Denial: Barriers to HIV Treatment for People Who Use Drugs in Thailand, 57-page report by Human Rights Watch