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  • NEWS

    Is 'White Prison' making Bang Khwang a darker place?

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 17/03/2013

    » Bang Khwang Central Prison is undergoing a transformation under an initiative aimed at ridding the notorious "Bangkok Hilton" and eight other facilities of drugs and other contraband. The "White Prison" policy came into effect last May under new director Vasant Singkaselit. Under the policy, visitors have been banned from bringing food, clothes or other items for prisoners; even books are banned. Prisoners are allowed to meet visitors once a day for 45 minutes, up to two visits a week, while visitors can only seen one inmate per day. Inmate workshops have been cancelled, punishments have become harsher and access to help in case of medical or fire emergencies has been limited.

  • NEWS

    The knock-on effect for Bangkok's knock-offs

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 20/01/2013

    » Last week, a man came to tell Jasmine, a vendor in the Nana area, that the Department of Special Investigation would be conducting a raid. He took the unusual step of telling her not only to temporarily close down, but to move all of her counterfeit goods back home for two days.

  • NEWS

    From Cold War to the 'Tor Chor Dor'

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 10/02/2013

    » At the height of the nuclear arms race during the Cold War, US military strategists theorised that if tensions escalated, controlled nuclear strikes against the Soviets could force them to back down.

  • NEWS

    'Evil man from Krabi' victim speaks out

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 25/11/2012

    » 'Im trying to pick up my life again, but until justice is served I'm finding it difficult," said the victim of a alleged rape in July, in Ao Nang, Krabi province last week.

  • NEWS

    After the horrors, Cambodia looks to reclaim its heritage

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 14/10/2012

    » For decades, thousands of Khmer antiquities have been sold on the international art market and through major auction houses in London, New York and elsewhere, bought up by leading museums and wealthy collectors. A large portion of these artefacts came with little or no ownership history, meaning they could well have been looted from temple complexes by thieves during the country's years of political turmoil, with Cambodia powerless to stem the trade or repatriate any of the items.

  • NEWS

    Locked away and forgotten: inside a high security jail

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 04/11/2012

    » At two security checkpoints visitors are frisked and scanned with metal detectors. No sharp objects, no liquids, no metals, no mobile phones or gadgets.

  • NEWS

    As seen through the lens of an insider

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 16/09/2012

    » Over the course of 25 years covering Myanmar and Southeast Asia as a photojournalist, Thierry Falise has come under fire from Lao militia, been hit by shrapnel covering riots in Bangkok and come face to face with a diminutive follower of the 10-year-old twins commanding God's Army who would stand on a chair to beat his wife.

  • NEWS

    Development rush could doom Yangon's architectural treasures

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 07/10/2012

    » For local investors they are unwieldy behemoths occupying prime real estate. For the nostalgic they remain noble vestiges of an era almost forgotten, when the city, then called Rangoon, was the most cosmopolitan in the region. For tourists they are one of Asia's most concentrated collections of colonial buildings and grand sights in themselves, unartificially preserved in time. For nationalists they can be an unwanted reminder of less independent times, when the subjugated people were answerable to the caprices of colonial authorities.

  • NEWS

    For Belarusian troupe, show must go on despite dangers

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 19/08/2012

    » Thespians of the Belarus Free Theatre have been beaten, arrested and harassed by authorities. And husband-and-wife co-directors Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada, as they explained to Spectrum last week while on a visit to Bangkok, are now forced to live in exile, facing prison sentences if they return home. Within Belarus _ their large landlocked country of just under 10 million people, bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania _ the actors continue to perform in secret and at great risk to themselves and their audiences.

  • NEWS

    Dead child walking

    Spectrum, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 22/07/2012

    » Just returned from a visit to Bangkok's notorious Bang Kwang prison, Toshi Kazama is ready to talk about criminal justice. On a rainy evening at the Foreign Correspondents' Club last week, the Japanese-born photographer shows slides of his photographs of juvenile offenders and speaks about the complexities of capital punishment. He has been photographing young people on death row since 1996, mostly in the US, where he has lived since the age of 15, and more recently across Asia.

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