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

The UDD expressed their shocked disbelief at this blatant double standard in legal procedures.

Dr Weng said,

The DSI simply let Abhisit go without signing the document, what kind of rule of law exists in Thailand?… If there is no justice in this country, how can one expect peace?

Jatuporn said,

This is unbelievable! They didn’t even have to sign the documents. Reds get treated completely differently. Abhisit was upset that a photo emerged of him getting  his fingerprints taken. What is the big deal? I have gotten my fingerprints taken so many times, they have almost faded away.

In a recent TV-interview with the BBC’s Mishal Husein, Abhisit was questioned about the murder charges brought against him by the DSI. During the interview, Husein asked Abhisit about his role during the crackdown, whether he authorised the use of live fire, and the scope of his responsibility as the acting prime minister at the time. Abhisit seemed increasingly agitated at her questions and repeatedly interrupted Husein before she could finish her sentences. While he confirmed that he authorised the use of live fire on Red Shirt protestors, he denied that the majority of the deaths were caused by the military, and denied any responsibility for the deaths. He even suggested that Red Shirts stole guns from the military and shot each other.

Tida said,

Abhisit embarrassed himself, he was wrong in thinking that the BBC would not know fact from fiction. How were the Red Shirts supposed to rob all those guns from the military? He is the one who ordered the use of live fire.

Abhisit went on to say that he only authorised force against armed elements within the protests. His argument is shattered by the fact that no weapons were found on any of the Red Shirt victims. It also does little to explain the shots fired at foreign journalists, two of whom were killed.

Jatuporn responded,

Abhisit is a liar. All of the deaths were of unarmed protestors, none of the victims were armed.

On a positive note, the UDD welcomed a unanimous resolution by the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) which condemned the Constitutional Court’s  disqualification of Jatuporn’s MP status earlier this year. The IPU declared the disqualification illegal and in violation of the spirit of the Thai Constitution. The IPU also said that they will send representatives to observe Jatuporn’s case, and that they expect the Thai authorities to reconsider his dismissal.

Jatuporn said,

I hope that the IPU will move forward on my case. This shows that my human rights were violated. The IPU has given me my honour back.

With regards to the international attention that the political situation in Thailand has received in light of the IPU resolution, the ICC visit, and the recent BBC interview, Tida said,

Thailand’s political struggle is becoming global, the world is paying attention and learning the truth about what is happening here.

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