Blue Moon...

Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone…I wonder how much old Thaksin Shinawatra will be singing that famous Manchester City theme tune today. By all accounts, it would be hard for the former Thai Prime minister to feel more marginalised. Thaksin is no stranger to us here at Amnesty. And last month he fled to the UK to avoid corruption charges.All that has helped fuel discontent in Thailand, which is now awash with protestors accusing the current government of being a front for Thaksin.The situation has got so serious that the current PM there, Samak Sundaravej, has declared a state of emergency as reported on the BBC.However, if dominating the news pages wasn’t enough for Thaksin, he is also over the sports sections as well – after selling 90 per cent of his stake in Manchester City to the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), a consortium of Middle East investors backed by the country’s royal family, on Sunday.The new owners have already left Thaksin in the shade, authorising the capture of the Brazilian midfielder – and Chelsea target – Robinho for a British record of £32.6m within 24 hours of taking control as The Sun cooed about today.Since Thaksin bought out City two years ago we’ve been plagued with calls about his old regime. To put it bluntly Thailand under Thaksin wasn’t ever going to win the Premier League when it came to human rights as Amnesty flagged up earlier this year.In 2003 his government led a so-called “war on drugs”, which saw at least 2,500 people were killed as part of his campaign against drug trafficking. Yet according to recent public findings by a special committee set up by the military government in 2007, more than 1,000 of the victims had little or no connection to the drugs trade. Not a single government or police official has been brought to account for the killings.He also presided over a period of terrible violence in the Muslim South of the country, which saw around 1900 people killed in his last three years in charge. Armed groups perpetrated many of these killings, but state security forces also detained people without trial and tortured people in detention, while others “disappeared”.For City fans it will be a relief to know that Amnesty is unaware of any particular concerns concerning ADUG and perhaps, they at last can look forward to being in only one half of the papers from now on.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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