Rights groups call for Thai ex-PM to face crimes against humanity charges

[JURIST] Thai human rights groups have demanded that former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [JURIST news archive] face charges for crimes against humanity relating to his rough anti-drug campaign. The Lawyers Council of Thailand and the National Human Rights Commission [advocacy websites, in Thai] allege that more than 2,500 people died as a result of Thaksin's crackdown on drug dealers. The groups have also encouraged Thailand's interim government to submit to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] so that the ICC may prosecute Thaksin and high-ranking officials in his government. The ICC can only prosecute crimes committed after July 1, 2002 and normally only has jurisdiction over events that occur after the court's Rome Statute [PDF text] enters into force for a particular country. States, however, may accept the ICC's jurisdiction for events occurring before the state ratifies the Rome Statute.

Thailand [JURIST news archive] has been under martial law [JURIST report] since the Thai military seized power from Thaksin in a bloodless coup [JURIST report] in September. Thailand's Council for National Security [official website, in Thai] may lift martial law next month after investigators wrap up a corruption probe [JURIST reports] against Thaksin. Australia's ABC News has more. From Thailand, the Nation has local coverage.

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