Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Thai Woman Could Face Death if Deported After Cooperating with US Agents

Dumped by the DEA: Thai Woman Could Face Death if Deported After Cooperating with US Agents. By Kari Lydersen Infoshop News January 2, 2007 Chicago

Vatcharee Pronsivakulchai’s case seeking political asylum in the U.S. is an unusual one.Unlike most asylum seekers, she never intended to leave her native country – Thailand. She was brought to the U.S. by the U.S. government, extradited to face trial on drug trafficking charges which were later dismissed.

While in the U.S. she worked as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), writing letters to drug dealers she had met during seven months imprisonment in Thailand. Now, with the charges dropped, U.S. officials want to send her back to Thailand. But returning as a known informant, she says, would put her life in danger. Pronsivakulchai was arrested in Bangkok in 2000 on a warrant for drug trafficking issued by U.S. officials. She spent seven months in the Lad Yao prison in Bangkok awaiting extradition to the U.S. During that time, she met gang members involved in drug dealing and other types of crime. And, according to an August 2006 ruling in her favor by Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judge William Bauer, “she witnessed rampant corruption, such as open narcotics trafficking and guards forcing inmates to pay for their food or for places to sleep. The prison guards also beat her.”

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