An international human rights group has condemned Thai Prime Minister's Thaksin Shinawatra's new anti-drug campaign, saying it raises fears of widespread human rights abuses.

Human Rights Watch says Mr. Thaksin's recent announcement suggests a revival of last year's drug crackdown, when more than 2,000 suspected drug offenders were shot dead in apparent extrajudicial executions.

The group also condemned Mr. Thaksin for the language he used in announcing the new campaign. Mr. Thaksin referred to drug dealers and traffickers as heartless, wicked people who, in his words, should be sent to meet the "guardian of hell."

Human Rights Watch called on an Italian organization to rescind an award it gave to Mr. Thaksin last month, honoring him for treating Thailand's drug users as patients, not criminals.