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Charges Against Abhisit Far from “Far Fetched”- UDD Lawyer

UDD lawyer Robert Amsterdam has recently made public a letter addressed to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), dated October 31st 2012, which outlines the strong case for Mr Abhisit’s criminal liability for the deaths of April-May 2010.

The following summary was published on his website:

Social media is abuzz with reactions to an interview that former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva gave to the BBC. Looking flustered in answering the uncomfortable questions posed by interviewer Mishal Husain, Mr. Abhisit described the charges of pre-meditated murder recently filed against him as “far fetched.”

In light of the coverage generated by the BBC interview, we are releasing to the public the content of a letter my firm submitted to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 31 October 2012. The letter focuses exclusively on Mr. Abhisit’s criminal liability, providing a comprehensive treatment of Mr. Abhisit’s involvement and individual responsibility for the commission of crimes against humanity in April and May 2010.

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Red Shirts unite against coups d’état

On Saturday, more than 100,000 Red Shirts gathered at the Bonanza in Khao Yai for a political rally/concert that lasted well into the early hours of Sunday.

In between acts, Red Shirt speakers discussed the government’s plans to amend the constitution, as well as other goals of the Red Shirt movement.

While the UDD and the Pheu Thai government agree on the need to amend the constitution, several UDD co-leaders are critical of the government’s plans to hold a referendum. On Saturday the speakers argued instead for a third reading of the constitutional amendments in parliament, since they see a referendum as an unnecessary risk. (more…)

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A Declaration of Street Justice

Nearly every Sunday afternoon since March 2012, a dedicated group of Red Shirts have gathered in front of Ratchada Criminal Court under the banner “Declaration of Street Justice”. Organized by Dr Suda Rangkupan, a professor of linguistics at Chulalongkorn University, the “Friends of Thai Political Prisoners”, or the Street Justice movement, is committed to protecting the human rights of political prisoners in Thailand and 112 (lèse majesté) prisoners in particular.

The group advocates amnesty for political prisoners and strongly supports, not only an amendment to 112, but reform to all of Thailand’s defamation laws which they argue are in violation of Thailand’s international human rights obligations. At the very least, 112 prisoners should be recognized as political prisoners, they argue. Since the current judicial system does not recognize 112 prisoners as ‘political’, they are placed in the much harsher conditions of Bangkok Remand Prison and are almost always denied bail, yet another human rights violation.

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Red Shirts Ask “Where is the Rule of Law?”

At a press conference on Friday, UDD co-leaders expressed their outrage over former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s ability to circumvent the rule of law by walking out of the Department of Special Investigations (DSI) without signing and agreeing to the terms of his release after hearing his charges yesterday. The Red Shirt leaders were equally appalled by his continuing lack of respect for the victims of the military crackdown in 2010.

Abhisit and his former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban presented themselves at DSI offices on Thursday to deny the murder charges against them in regards to the death of taxi driver Pan Kamkong who was killed by CRES soldiers on May 15th 2010. However, they refused to sign a document accepting the conditions for their bail, which prohibit them from: leaving the country without the approval of the DSI; tampering with evidence; and obstructing the investigation. Despite this outright rejection of the legal process, they were free to go.

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Jatuporn’s MP Disqualification violates human rights and constitution- IPU

The International Parliamentary Union (IPU), one of the world’s oldest international organizations committed to the promotion of democracy, has unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Constitutional Court’s disqualification of Jatuporn’s MP status in May, 2012. The IPU argued that the rationale for the disqualification was at odds with Thailand’s international human rights obligations, enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as Article 102(4) of the Thai Constitution.

See below the full text of the resolution, and click here for the link to the IPU’s website. (more…)

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Murder Charges About Accountability and Justice- UDD Lawyer

UDD Lawyer Robert Amsterdam

On Monday, UDD lawyer Robert Amsterdam argued in an article on his website that the recent murder charges brought against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban are acts of legal justice, not politics as the Democrat party claims.

Amsterdam wrote the following:

Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban, with the assistance of media outlets eager to run with the Democrat Party’s official line, have rationalized the murder charges recently filed against them as part of a scheme to bring Thaksin Shinawatra back to Thailand. The charges, they claim, are designed to squeeze them into accepting an amnesty bill that would guarantee them immunity from prosecution in exchange for vacating Mr. Thaksin’s conviction on a dubious conflict of interests charge. They should be so lucky.

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The Time is Now for a People’s Constitution in Thailand- UDD

A combined total of 10,000 Red Shirts gathered to learn and discuss the movement’s goals and progress during two political schools that were held in the Northeastern region of Isaan on Sunday and Monday. The seminars focused on the approaching opportunity for a people’s constitution which would spell a major victory, not only for the Red Shirt movement, but for the democratic future of Thailand.

UDD chairwoman Tida opened the political school in Ubon Ratchathani on Monday, Thailand’s Constitution Day, by highlighting the need for a constitution that is approved by the people.

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The Remarkable 112 Community

Over the course of recent months, Thai Red Shirts (TRS) has had the opportunity to engage with many of Thailand’s lèse majesté prisoners in and out of jail, as well as the incredible group of friends and family members who support them. Together, they make up a remarkable community which reveals the best and the worst of Thai society.

The community centers around Bangkok Remand Prison, the second home for prisoners that are accused or convicted of violating Thailand’s article 112 of the criminal code, the lèse majesté  law that prohibits any statement which “defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, [and] shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.”

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