Thailand. 2500 extrajudicial drug-war killings of innocent people. 

The photos are at the end of the page. See also and the YouTube page: 

March 2009. Protest at the University of Oregon. With traditional Akha clothing, huge signs, horse and bus. There is an "HQ" (high quality) button that shows up at the bottom of the video once the video is playing. Click it if you want higher video resolution and sharpness. Click it again to go back to normal quality if your internet connection and bandwidth can not support the high quality setting. Go to the YouTube link for more info, to view the video at a larger size, or to leave comments. Extrajudicial killings aren't the only form of ethnic cleansing used against the Akha. There is also the sterilization of Akha women without informed consent, or without any consent at all (during other operations, for example). It is claimed by some Akha that during his time in the region Paul Lewis (search, who received a Ph.D from the University of Oregon's anthropology department, did not get their informed consent before sterilizing them. See the claims, and the replies of Paul Lewis. It seems that there was a system of bounties paid to recruiters that ended up being a financial incentive for misinforming women in order to get more of them to volunteer for sterilization.
YouTube link:

United States drug-war aid to Thailand from 2001 to 2003. Chart from Thailand's 2003 drug-war annual report:

Thailand's brutal 2003 death-squad drug war. Photos of dead, tortured, wounded, scars, families, etc.. URL for this photo gallery is - There are also many links below to press and media articles; human rights organization reports and filings, etc.. For a good compilation of info, links, and photos see:

The gallery editor wrote up this intro with the links. The photos and photo captions are from Matthew_McDaniel of the Akha Heritage Foundation. Photos are farther down. Click the images to enlarge them, and to open up the various photo albums. For more photos, links, info, etc. please see:

"US-Thailand's 'License To Kill'. 2274 Extra-Judicial Killings In 90 Days". The Akha Journal of the Golden Triangle. By Matthew McDaniel. Vol. 1. No. 2. October 2003. Relevant section of journal 2: - Cover and first part of journal 2: -
Link list for all parts of the journals.

"Probe into Thai Drug War Killings Getting Underway". Drug War Chronicle, August 10, 2007.

*July 7, 2004 New York Times article. "LETTER FROM ASIA; She Tilts Against Power, but Don't Call Her Quixotic." By Jane Perlez. Article quote: "Among those either killed, or missing and presumed dead, were campaigners against logging, dams and wastewater projects." Another article quote: "She reminded those audiences, she said, that more than 2,000 people suspected of breaking drug laws were killed during a three-month 'war on drugs' by the Thaksin government last year [2003], a move that prompted the State Department to criticize Thailand's 'worsened' human rights record."

Human Rights Watch. Thailand: Anti-Drug Campaign Reaches New Low. October 6, 2004. More Than 50 Organizations Sign Letter of Protest.

Akha 1503 Case Filed, January 2004, UN Filing UNOHCHR, Geneva - Detailed Case Accounts of the Killings and Torture. 46 cases out of thousands. Filed by Matthew McDaniel.

Google search:

Main drug-war index page at has list of related links at the bottom of the page:

Google search shortcut that pulls up links to hundreds of drug war articles on the site:

Search the Akha Weekly Journal Yahoo Group public archive:
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These search shortcuts will pull up many articles. Add or substitute search terms as needed to get better results. For example; substitute 'thailand' for 'laos' in the searches.
For the site:
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Yahoo Groups. and Titled index of Akha list. An Akha discussion list with an archive.

May-2003. U.S.-aided Thailand death squads go on. 1000's dead. Drug war and more. DEA, U.S. police, and U.S. military involvement with Thailand. Many illustrated messages. and

Hopefully, there will also be more photos here of the Akha and other groups in Laos who died in large numbers due to disease and starvation caused by the drug war, opium eradications, relocations, and lack of alternative means of survival. All of this occurring at the behest of the brutal UN and USA drug war agendas. See this index of info on Laos:


More on the history of the extrajudicial killings occurring during the 2003 anti-drugs push of Thailand's prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. See this Wikipedia page:
Policies_of_the Shinawatra_administration. Anti-drug_policies

 ==== Wikipedia page excerpt begins. Emphasis added. ====

Thaksin initiated a series of controversial policies to counter a boom in Thailand's illegal drugs market, particularly in methamphetamine. Research and statistics had indicated that some 2.5 - 6 million people were habitual drug users, with up to 3 million of still in school. Up to 2002, Thaksin's anti-drug policies consisted of border blocking (most methamphetamine is produced in Myanmar), public education, sports, and promoting peer pressure against drug use - policies that are generally acknowledged to have been ineffective. In response, the Thaksin government launched on February 1, 2003, a suppression campaign that aimed to "rid every inch of the country" of drugs in 3 months. The policy consisted of:

  1. Targeting dealers
  2. Changing the punishment policy such that users would be considered patients in need of treatment
  3. Giving targets to each province for the number of arrests and seizures
  4. Awarding government officials for achieving targets
  5. Ruthless implementation

Regarding the last element, Thaksin said, “Because drug traders are ruthless to our children. So being ruthless back to them is not a big thing…. It may be necessary to have casualties… If there are deaths among traders, it’s normal…”. Various agencies drew up “blacklists” of people suspected to be involved in drug trading, while police were told to meet their arrest quota or face being transferred. Given the short time available, due process reportedly often fell by the wayside in meeting those targets. In parallel, dealers were invited to present themselves to the police and swear they had stopped their activities.

Over the next seven weeks, press reports indicate that around 2,500 people were killed.[10][11] The government claimed only around 50 of the deaths were at the hands of the police, and then in self-defense. They included a nine-year-old child. Human rights critics have claimed that a much larger proportion were targets of extrajudicial execution.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20] The victims were overwhelmingly poor, and reports said police with worrying consistency recovered two methamphetamine tablets from their bodies, well below the five needed for a charge of possession with intent to supply. The National Commission on Human Rights made an official objection. The government went out of its way to publicize the implementation of the policy, with daily statistics of arrests, seizures, and deaths published, and entire provinces swearing abstinence in orchestrated ceremonies. Following growing international criticism including expressions of concern from the UN rapporteur on human rights, the "ruthless" element of the policy was reduced and the killings stopped. Meanwhile, only a minute portion of "kingpins" were arrested or targeted for arrest.

Despite some public revulsion, Thaksin's popularity increased.[21] In September 2004, George W. Bush announced in his Annual Determination of Major Illicit Drug Producing and Drug-Transit Countries to remove Thailand from the list of major drug-transit or major drug-producing countries.[6]

The policy was effective in substantially increasing the price of methamphetamine and thus reducing the intake of habitual and recreational users, with retail drug prices skyrocketing 2-3 times as a result. The longer-term effectiveness of the crackdown, however, is less clear. An ABAC opinion poll conducted two years after the campaign revealed that 62.2 percent of respondents believed that drug abuse had increased from 2004 to 2005. The same survey also showed that people had lost confidence in the Thaksin's anti-drug policies, with 67.8 percent answering that they no longer trust the government to solve the drug problem.[22]

The Nation (an English-language newspaper in Thailand) reported on November 27, 2007:

"Of 2,500 deaths in the government's war on drugs in 2003, a fact-finding panel has found that more than half was not involved in drug at all. At a brainstorming session, a representative from the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) Tuesday disclosed that as many as 1,400 people were killed and labelled as drug suspects despite the fact that they had no link to drugs."

The article also reported:

"Senior public prosecutor Kunlapon Ponlawan said it was not difficult to investigate extra-judicial killings carried out by police officers as the trigger-pullers usually confessed."[23][24]

The January 24, 2008 edition of The Economist reported:

Yet a panel set up last year by the outgoing junta recently concluded the opposite: over half of those killed in 2003 had no links to the drugs trade. The panel blamed the violence on a government “shoot-to-kill” policy based on flawed blacklists. But far from leading to the prosecutions of those involved, its findings have been buried. The outgoing interim prime minister, Surayud Chulanont, took office vowing to right Mr Thaksin's wrongs. Yet this week he said there was insufficient evidence to take legal action over the killings. It is easy to see why the tide has turned. Sunai Phasuk, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, a lobbying group, says that the panel's original report named the politicians who egged on the gunmen. But after the PPP won last month's elections, those names were omitted.[25]

The New York Times reported on April 8, 2003:

Since the death of 9-year-old Chakraphan, there have been frequent reports in the Thai press of summary executions and their innocent victims. There was the 16-month-old girl who was shot dead along with her mother, Raiwan Khwanthongyen. There was the pregnant woman, Daranee Tasanawadee, who was killed in front of her two young sons. There was the 8-year-old boy, Jirasak Unthong, who was the only witness to the killing of his parents as they headed home from a temple fair. There was Suwit Baison, 23, a cameraman for a local television station, who fell to his knees in tears in front of Mr. Thaksin and begged for an investigation into the killing of his parents. His stepfather had once been arrested for smoking marijuana, Mr. Suwit said. When the police offered to drop the charge if he would admit to using methamphetamines, he opted instead to pay the $100 fine for marijuana use. Both parents were shot dead as they returned home from the police station on a motorbike. Mr. Suwit said 10 other people in his neighborhood had also been killed after surrendering to the police.[12]


  1. ^ a b H.E. Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai - Thailand: the Path Forward
  2. ^ "Thailand War on Drugs Turns Murderous, 600 Killed This Month -- Human Rights Groups Denounce Death Squads, Executions". Drug War Chronicle, Feb. 21, 2003.
  3. ^ Timeline of Thailand’s “War on Drugs”. July 7, 2004. Human Rights Watch.
  4. ^ a b "A Wave of Drug Killings Is Linked to Thai Police". By Seth Mydans. April 8, 2003. New York Times. [2]
  5. ^ Amnesty International report: Thailand: Grave developments - Killings and other abuses
  6. ^ Human Rights Watch. Detailed report: Thailand: Not Enough Graves: IV. Human Rights Abuses and the War on Drugs
  7. ^ Matthew Z Wheeler. "From Marketplace to Battlefield: Counting the Costs of Thailand’s Drug War." [3] [4] [5]. May 28, 2003. ICWA Letters. Institute of Current World Affairs.
  8. ^ "Institutionalised torture, extrajudicial killings & uneven application of law in Thailand". April 2005. See Annex 5 for a "Partial list of persons reported killed during the ‘war on drugs’ (revised)." Asian Legal Resource Centre. From Vol. 04 - No. 02: "Special Report: Rule of Law vs. Rule of Lords in Thailand".
  9. ^ "Thailand: Not Smiling on Rights". July 18, 2005. Asian Centre for Human Rights. See page 24, the section called "Killings in the war against drugs".
  10. ^ "US-Thailand’s 'License To Kill'. 2274 Extra-Judicial Killings In 90 Days". The Akha Journal of the Golden Triangle. By Matthew McDaniel. Vol. 1, No. 2, October 2003. Relevant section of journal 2: 2p6.pdf - Cover and first part of journal 2: 2p1.pdf - Link list for all parts of the journals.
  11. ^ "Letter from Asia; She Tilts Against Power, but Don't Call Her Quixotic." By Jane Perlez. July 7, 2004. New York Times.
  12. ^ Thailand 2003. Extrajudicial drug-war killings of innocent people. Photo gallery. Press/media links, and human rights reports.
  13. ^ Phongpaichit speech - The First International Symposium on Global Drug Policy: Lisbon 2003 - The Senlis Council
  14. ^ POLL FINDING: Drug abuse on the rise, The Nation, 20 March 2005
  15. ^ "Most of those killed in war on drug not involved in drug". November 27, 2007. The Nation (an English-language newspaper in Thailand).[6]
  16. ^ "Southeast Asia: Most Killed in Thailand's 2003 Drug War Not Involved With Drugs, Panel Finds". November 30, 2007. Drug War Chronicle.
  17. ^ "Thailand's drug wars. Back on the offensive". January 24, 2008. The Economist.

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United States drug-war aid to Thailand from 2001 to 2003. Chart from
Thailand's 2003 drug-war annual report.
Mae Salep Village, Mr. Ah Pah, beaten by police, killed 2003.
Akha hill tribes. Regional map. Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Burma.

Album: Thailand army. U.S.-aided drug-war torture, death squads.

Contains: 33 items.
Album: Thailand police. U.S.-aided drug-war torture, death squads.

Contains: 43 items.
Album: Laos. US/UN-aided drug war deaths. Starvation, disease.
See this index of info on Laos.
Contains: 4 items.