Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thai Muslim lawyer named as Asia's top human righst defender

A Thai Muslim lawyer, who was killed by government officials in 2004, was named Asia's top human rights defender by a regional rights watchdog.

Somchai Neelapaijit was 53 when he was killed. When he was last seen alive 23 months ago, Somchai had publicly accused police of torturing four of his Muslim clients while in custody.

The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Defender Award named Somchai recipient of a Human Rights Defender Award in recognition of his tireless efforts to bring justice to victims of human rights abuses in Thailand, for which he ultimately sacrificed his life.

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