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THURSDAY, September 29, 2022
Scene from a Buddhist country: Put to death in a media scrum

Scene from a Buddhist country: Put to death in a media scrum

WEDNESDAY, June 20, 2018
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That well into the 21st century Thailand still sanctions capital punishment speaks volumes about the true values of this nominally Buddhist society.

But even if the state insisted that Teerasak [surname withheld at the request of the authorities] had to die for his vile, horrendous and totally unnecessary crime, it was incumbent on it to do so with some semblance of dignity and decorum.
Instead, as revealed in at least one photograph posted online by other media, this execution was turned into a media circus. Camera crews elbowed each other for a closer shot of the condemned man, who is spread-eagled and strapped to the execution table as his executioners prepare to plunge the hypodermic. Camera microphones are pushed forward, presumably to catch the final death rattles. The ultimate photo op.
 All this of course is to be replayed to a Thai television audience that seems to thrive on an endless diet of blood and guts, murder, mayhem and human misery.
This whole episode debases and dehumanises not only the condemned man but his executioners, those who condoned the execution, and the reporters who took part in this media scrum.
The Nation may or may not have had a photographer there. I do not know. But you are to be commended for your good taste in not publishing it.
David Brown

On June 18, Theerasak was executed by lethal injection. The country would next year have marked a decade since the last execution and therefore joined the list of countries with a de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty. 
This is what the European Union expected, given its discussions with the Thai authorities. Against this background, Theerasak's execution represents a clear step backwards.
The European Union is opposed to the death penalty under all circumstances and aims at its universal abolition. The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.
The European Union calls on the Government of Thailand to refrain from any future executions, and work towards a moratorium and the eventual abolishing of the death penalty.
Spokesperson, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs