Readers interested in the modern history of the Mekong Region will be familiar with François Bizot’s previous work, The Gate, which described the author’s experiences in Cambodia during the rise of the Khmer Rouge and his own arrest and incarceration. Elements of that experience are reflected in the film The Killing Fields, as too are elements from Jon Swain’s The River of Time, which covers the same period and events.
Read the full review here.
Some details on the treatment of the more than four hundred people disappeared by the Abhisit regime have emerged at Prachatai:
“The emergency decree is being used as a tool to “destroy political dissent and democracy”, said Somyos Pruek-sakasemsuk, a key red-shirt member and editor who was detained for three weeks under the law.
Calling it “mafia law”, Somyos said there were still 400 more people – some as old as 70 – being detained with very little information known about their condition. Most are unlikely to be proven as “terrorists” as alleged by the Abhisit Vejjajiva government, he said. The red-shirt supporter was detained from May 24 to June 13, when the court found that there was not enough evidence to detain him.
People being detained under the emergency decree are “political prisoners”, though the government maintains that they are mere suspects, Somyos said.”
It seems like it is the baleful Bush Guantanamo method that is proving to be the inspiration here – people being held incommunicado for extended periods under the pretext that they are ‘terrorists’ and the possible use of torture – certainly the treatment Khun Somyos reports is very harsh. Add this to the ever more comprehensive suppression of free speech, the attempt to steal the assets of suspected ‘terrorists’ (as all political dissidents can now expect to be labelled) and the brazen denial of wrongdoing after the military was repeatedly ordered to use automatic weapons, helicopter-borne tear gas bombs and sniper assassins in killing 86 pro-democracy protestors and the human rights record of the Abhisit regime looks very shabby.