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Letter from ICC to Dr Weng

Last week, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued the following letter to Pheu Thai MP and Red Shirt leader Dr Weng.

The letter outlines the steps that need to be taken by the Thai government in order to accept the ICC’s jurisdiction with regards to international crimes (crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide), since Thailand is not a State Party to the Rome Statute.

This letter reaffirms that Thailand does not need to sign the treaty in order to grant jurisdiction. Instead, the government may issue a declaration that states that Thailand accepts the ICC’s jurisdiction, in accordance with Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute. The declaration can be sent as a letter to the ICC. The letter should state clearly the situation over which the government accepts the ICC’s jurisdiction. The government may also include documents that relate to the alleged crimes in question.

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UDD On Guard as Pitak Siam Calls for Military Coup

In Pattaya on Sunday, the UDD leadership urged vigilance and caution as anti-democratic forces gather under the banner of the newly formed Pitak Siam (Protecting Siam). Red Shirt leaders spoke to over 2,000 activists, who gathered for the UDD’s third political school of the year, about the growing threat of yet another military coup in Thailand.

UDD Chairwoman Tida said,

We are witnessing the emergence of Pitak Siam who are calling on the military to stage yet another coup. They are supported by the same elites that supported the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD). They have lost their influence and they want it back.

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UDD Lawyer Amsterdam Makes Case for ICC Jurisdiction

On Sunday, UDD lawyer Robert Amsterdam posted an article that lists all the reasons why Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong Tovichakchaikul should grant the ICC jurisdiction over the crimes against humanity that were committed in April-May 2010. The article, entitle “Answering the Call of History in Thailand”, makes a strong case for why ICC involvement would benefit Thailand.

Although Thailand is not a State party to the Rome Statute, article 12(3) of the statute states that non-member States can grant the ICC jurisdiction by issuing a unilateral declaration that would allow the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to open a preliminary examination into the case. Bensouda has already stated that she will open such an examination if the Pheu Thai government were to grant the ICC jurisdiction through a 12(3) declaration. Amsterdam argues that the FM is

on the verge of signing a document that might change the course of Thai history.

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UDD Calls on Government to Issue 12(3) Declaration

At the UDD’s weekly press conference Friday, UDD leaders addressed the pending decision by the Pheu Thai government regarding whether to grant the International Criminal Court (ICC) ad hoc jurisdiction into the events of April-May 2010, as well as concerns raised by last week’s rally organised by the ultra-royalist group Pitak Siam (Protect Siam).

Thursday night, the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, met with Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Surapong Tovichakchaikul, to discuss the possibility of opening an investigation into the alleged crimes against humanity committed during the military crackdown of April-May 2010. The Prosecutor affirmed that since Thailand is not Party to the ICC, the Thai government may grant the ICC jurisdiction on the matter by issuing a unilateral ad hoc declaration as outlined in Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute. After the meeting, Surapong announced that he would approach the newly formed Cabinet next week to discuss the possibility of issuing such a declaration.

At Friday’s press conference, UDD leader Tida urged the government to issue the declaration:

With the 12(3) declaration, Pheu Thai can bring justice to the victims as well as an end to the cycle of coups d’état in Thailand. If they do not issue this declaration, a coup can happen at any time in the future.

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ICC Prosecutor in Bangkok: What You Need to Know

The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, is in Bangkok to meet with Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Surapong Tovichakchaikul. They will discuss the possibility of launching an investigation into the protests of April-May 2010.

UDD lawyer Robert Amsterdam recently published, on his blog, the following set of Q&A regarding the ICC application:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: What is the ICC and why is the prosecutor in Thailand?

Answer: The ICC is located in The Hague. The ICC is established by a treaty known as the Rome Statute of the ICC. One hundred twenty-one countries have joined the treaty. Thailand has signed, but not ratified the Rome Statute. Thailand is therefore not a party to the treaty.

UDD lawyer Robert Amsterdam filed an application with the Prosecutor of the ICC on January 30 2011, requesting a preliminary investigation into the protests that occurred in Thailand between April-May 2010, where 98 civilians were killed and thousands injured.

The application alleges that crimes against humanity were committed against civilian protesters. Although the ICC has jurisdiction over genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, only crimes against humanity are alleged in the application relating to Thailand. There is no basis to allege genocide or war crimes.

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Why the TRCT has Failed – An Open Letter to the International Community

Dear members of the international community, 

With this letter I wish to clarify the UDD’s stance on the final report of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand (TRCT) into the events of April-May 2010. It is the view of the UDD, the victims, and the victims’ families, that the report has failed to provide a pathway to reconciliation in Thailand and has exacerbated the political conflict within Thai society.

We believe that the TRCT report seeks to undermine the UDD’s peaceful movement for full democracy in Thailand. The hundreds of thousands of protestors who attended the demonstrations in April-May 2010 were only asking for their most basic democratic rights in the shape of fresh elections. The state’s violent response to these demands for such basic political rights consisted of deploying 60,000 armed troops, armoured vehicles, and snipers against the protestors.

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