Thailand: Joint parliamentary probe into the
killings on 10 April 2010 demanded

- Thai government warned of international legal action
against killing of the civilians -

Bangkok: The Asian Centre for Human Rights, a NGO having Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) warned against impending human rights catastrophe against the Red Shirts demonstrators in Bangkok, Thailand and condemned the violations of the right to life of the Red Shirt protestors and absolute denial of the freedom of expression by the Government of Thailand through banning and/or blocking of all the television stations, radio stations and the internet sites allegedly closed to the opposition political parties.

The evidence including video records of the events on 10 April 2010 presented to the ACHR establish beyond any reasonable doubt that the Thai security forces used disproportionate force that resulted in the violation of the right to life of a large number of civilians and injury of about 800 protestors.

Principle 9 of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials clearly states that “Law enforcement officials shall not use firearms against persons except in self-defence or defence of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury, to prevent the perpetration of a particularly serious crime involving grave threat to life, to arrest a person presenting such a danger and resisting their authority, or to prevent his or her escape, and only when less extreme means are insufficient to achieve these objectives. In any event, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life”.

“It is clear from the evidence submitted to the ACHR by the opposition political parties that the firings by the security forces have not been ‘in self-defence or defence of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury’ but premeditated and willful acts of killings.”- stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

The allegations that some persons wearing black shirts shot at the security forces to provoke interventions of the security forces against the protestors are serious and need to be investigated. The ACHR demanded that a joint parliamentary investigation into the recent killings and violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms should be held, and the investigation report must be made public within one month and accountability of those who ordered the killings, if any, and individual officers who were responsible for the crimes, must be established.

“The Thai authorities including Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva should note that that on 31st March 2010, the International Criminal Court ordered investigation into the post election violence that resulted into killings of hundreds of civilians in Kenya in 2008. The investigation into the killings in Kenya by the ICC shows that if the national government fails to investigate and establish accountability, international mechanisms may be constrained to intervene. Even though the government of Thailand has not yet ratified the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court, a number of national and international human rights mechanisms against gross violations can be invoked.” – further stated Mr Chakma.

The ACHR has recommended to the government of Thailand to issue clear instructions to the security forces not to resort to the use of fire-arms that results in violations of the right to life and lift all the ban/blocking all the television stations, radio stations and the internet sites allegedly closed to the opposition political parties.

The ACHR also recommended to the government of Thailand and the Red Shirts to find negotiated settlement to the disputes, if necessary, by using good offices of the United Nations Secretary General and/or any eminent person of international repute.

The ACHR further recommended to the Pheu Thai Party and the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) to declare a roadmap for protection and promotion of human rights in Thailand including commitment for the ratification of all international human rights instruments without any reservation and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the need for legislative, administrative and judicial mechanism to guarantee and implement these legal obligations at national level in Thailand.

[Ends]

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