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    » 08/26/2009, 00.00

    THAILAND

    Bangkok, drug traffickers executed by lethal injection

    Weena Kowitwanij

    Arrested and sentenced in 2001, they received a few hours notice. They left a will, called their families and ate their last meal, then they were executed. Anti-drug chief describes it as "exemplary" punishment. In Thai prisons there are 32 inmates on death row.

    Bangkok (AsiaNews) - "I told them to repent for sins committed and not to harbour feelings of revenge, for a peaceful journey to the world to come". This is an extract from the sermon delivered by Buddhist monk Phrakru Mahasrinonthawat to two death row prisoners shortly before they were executed. "They were deeply saddened – says the leader of Bangpreaktai temple, in the province of Nonthaburi - their faces were emaciated, their hands terribly cold”.

    Bundit Jaroenwanit, 45, and Jirawat Poompreuk, 52, were killed by lethal injection last August 24 in the prison of Bang Khwang, Thailand. Both were arrested in 2001 for drug trafficking, the police had surprised them with a cargo of 114,219 pearls of methamphetamine, worth 1.2 million U.S. dollars.   It is the second case of death by lethal injection since 2003, when an amendment to Article 19 of the Criminal Code changed the terms of execution: from death by firing squad to lethal injection.

    "After listening to my words - adds Phrakru Mahasrinonthawat – they asked to touch my robe, I took their hands in mine, to comfort them. I did my best, so they would die in peace”. The death row inmates received three injections: the first a sedative, and the second to relax their muscles and the third, the fatal one, a drug that stopped their hearts.  

    Chartchai Sitthikrom, from the Committee for the prevention and control of drug trafficking, explained that this is an "exemplary" punishment in stopping others involved drug trafficking. "A prisoner awaiting death lives in suffering – he adds - without knowing when the time of death will come. They are dead men walking, under pressure and without freedom”.  

    Since 1996 in Thailand more than 100 death sentences have been carried out for crimes ranging from drug trafficking and rape to murder. Currently there are 32 prisoners on death row, waiting to be executed

     
     
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    See also

    16/06/2009 CHINA
    Beijing’s new and improved execution method, lethal injection in lieu of bullet in the head
    Lethal injection is considered more human and modern because “it reduces the criminals' fear and pain”. Officially 1,700 people were put to death last year, more than 70 per cent of the world’s total. Activists accuse prison authorities of using the bodies of executed prisoners for organ trafficking.

    24/06/2010 CHINA
    World day against drugs, China carries out eight death sentences
    The sentences executed yesterday and the day before yesterday in Fujian and Chongqing. The phenomenon of drug dealing and use is increasing. 51,000 criminal cases in 2009, up 16.5% on the previous year. Severe sentences for 17,400 defendants.

    03/01/2008 CHINA
    Beijing chooses lethal injection for death penalty : “its more humane”
    The country has no intention of abolishing the use of capital punishment. According to leading Party figures, there are at least 10 thousand executions per year. And a florid trade in the organs of the condemned.

    30/12/2009 CHINA - GREAT BRITAIN
    Strained relations between London and Beijing after execution of a British national
    Beijing has carried out the death sentence against the British Akmal Shaikh, found in possession of drugs, but mentally unstable. First time in 50 years for a European to be convicted in China. Strong criticism from the British government and the European Union.

    27/11/2009 THAILAND
    Thai Buddhism preaches respect for life, the government sentences to death
    For supporters it is a deterrent against crime. Those who fight for its repeal contend: it violates human rights and will not prevent serious crime. For the Thai prime minister, "the majority is in favour" and many call for "alternative sentences" such as life in prison.



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