Bangkok tourist areas on high alert after CIA torture report

BANGKOK, Thailand - Security measures have been stepped up around the US embassy and in tourist spots in Bangkok, following a warning by the US State Department over the safety of Americans and other

Bangkok tourist areas on high alert after CIA torture report

BANGKOK, Thailand – Security measures have been stepped up around the US embassy and in tourist spots in Bangkok, following a warning by the US State Department over the safety of Americans and other foreigners in Thailand, the deputy Metropolitan Police chief said yesterday (December 10).

The move comes after the release of a US Senate report on alleged CIA practices in Thailand.

Pol Maj Gen Chantawit Ramasut said no violent incidents have been reported so far.

“Intelligence has reported that the situation is still normal at the moment and we have not yet faced a situation that could lead to protests or unrest,” he said, saying police stations have been instructed to boost their patrols in areas thought to be at risk.

Security has been stepped up in popular tourist areas such as Khao San Road, Soi Nana and Sathon, according to Pol Maj Gen Chantawit.

Thailand joined Afghanistan and Pakistan as one of the countries at risk of violence after the release of the report outlining harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA on terrorist suspects.

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In identical notices to Americans in the three countries, the embassies said the release of the report “could prompt anti-US protests and violence against US interests, including private US citizens”.

The State Department urged US citizens to be on alert and to take appropriate safety precautions, including avoiding demonstrations or confrontational situations.

The three countries allegedly hosted secret facilities where prisoners were interrogated and tortured, according to the report.

For Thailand, however, the report blanked out all the information about the country’s role in waterboarding, housing terrorist suspects from around the world and the exact involvement of the Thaksin Shinawatra government, National Security Agency and Royal Thai Army.

The report delivered a damning indictment of CIA practices, accusing the spy agency of inflicting pain and suffering on prisoners beyond legal limits.

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