The following is TRS Translation of Dr. Weng Tojilakarn comment in reply to the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Cécile Pouilly, press briefing on August 6th 2013 in Geneva.
August 7th 2013
To: Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Cécile Pouilly.
Subject: In response to the OHCHR press briefing on August 6th 2013 in Geneva
1. I appreciate the United Nation concerns about the treatment of human rights in Thailand and throughout the world. I also agree with your suggestion that state officials and others should be held accountable for their role in serious human rights abuses, especially in Thailand, where over 90 people died and thousands were injured during the military crackdown on protestors in 2010.
2. But your understanding that the Amnesty Bill, currently being debated in the Thai Parliament, could pardon people who are responsible for the death of more than 90 people, is completely incorrect. The purpose of MP Worachai Hema’s Amnesty Bill is to grant pardon to people who committed offenses relating to political conflicts only. Co-leaders of any political movements and the government, mainly the Prime Minister and the Commander of the Centre for Resolution of Emergency Situation (CRES) at the time, should be held accountable for the death of more than 90 civilians and for the thousands that were injured. Higher and lower ranking security officers should also be held accountable for their actions and they should be prosecuted according to their crime.
3. Your comment on the result of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Thailand (TRCT) shows that you are misinformed. I would like you to consider all the facts first. Then you should ask yourself whether the finding of the TRCT is credible or not because on August 6th 2013, the Southern Criminal Court of Bangkok ruled against the conclusion of the TRCT.
The Southern Criminal Court of Bangkok clearly indicated in the case of Phrathum Wanaram Temple that there was no presence of “Men in Black Shirts” at the crime scenes and there was no exchange of gunfire between shadowy militants and soldiers in front of the temple complex. These results are completely in contrast to the findings of the TRCT which concluded that there were “Men in Black Shirts” running along side the wall in front of Phrathum Wanaram Temple and there were shot fired at soldiers stationed at Chalerm-Phao intersection by armed militants within the ranks of Red Shirts supporters.
Therefore, your call for the Thai government to act on the TRCT’s recommendations is something of serious concern. If you did not reconfirm your facts beforehand, your declarations could be misleading and your credibility come under scrutiny.
In conclusion, I would like to ask you to review your press briefing regarding the Amnesty Bill in Thailand as well as revise your call for the Thai government to act upon the TRCT’s recommendations.
With respect and best regards to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Dr. Weng Tojilakarn