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UDD Statement on the Revision of MP Worachai’s Amnesty Bill

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In response to the House Committee’s scrutiny of MP Worachai Hema’s Amnesty Bill decision to approve the draft legislation with blanket proposals that would absolve authorities who ordered the use of excessive force against civilians which resulted in more than a hundred deaths and more than a thousand injured, of all accountability, the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) would like to release this following statements:

1. The UDD is standing by its commitment to support the original format of MP Worachai Hema’s Amnesty Bill that would have, if passed, granted pardon to political prisoners of all colours only. This version does not include protest leaders and commanding officials who authorized the use of excessive forces on civilians.
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Mrs Tida’s Interview on the Revised Amnesty Bill

news_img_471018_1The following is the translation of an excerpt from Mrs. Tida Tavonseth’s interview regarding the revised amnesty bill with Matichon’s reporter, Mr. Fahrung Srikhao, on 21 October 2013.

The president of the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) answered questions and showed her disagreement on the proposed blanket amnesty by citing the organization’s commitment to their supporters and the prevention of another violent crackdown in the future.
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Abhisit and Suthep indicted for murder during 2010 crackdown

Photo by : The Nations Online

Photo by : The Nations Online

On 28 October, 2013, former Prime Minister, Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban, were indicted for their role in the deaths of demonstrators during the crackdown on Red Shirts protests in 2010.

The military operations and the use of live ammunition that was applied to suppressed the unrest three years ago have left more than 90 people dead and thousands other injured.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office, Nanthasak Poolsuk, said Monday at the Government Complex that the former prime minister and former deputy premier face charges for issuing the orders that led to deaths and injuries of others.
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BKK Post : Red Sunday rallies against ‘wholesale amnesty’

Taken from Bangkok Post article called “Red Sunday rallies against ‘wholesale amnesty’” by Achara Ashayagachat on 27 October 2013.

Red Sunday Group turns up at Ratchaprasong intersection on Sunday afternoon to express their opposition to a wholesale amnesty. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

Red Sunday Group turns up at Ratchaprasong intersection (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

The ruling Pheu Thai party would appear to have limited time in which to recognise red shirt sentiment against the “wholesale amnesty” as a huge showdown would be organised if it gave a “blank cheque” to those who ordered the 2010 crackdown.
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UDD Press Conference on 23 October 2013

1377949_496860040412348_2048719145_nAt the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) press conference on 23 October 2013, Mrs Tida Tavonseth, president of the UDD, along with other co-leaders such as Jatuporn Prompan, Weng Tojilakarn, Worachai Hema and other core members from Bangkok districts released a statement to oppose the revised version of the amnesty bill that was proposed by Pheu Thai MP Prayuth Siripanit.

On 18 October 2013, a House committee scrutinising the political amnesty bill voted to pass the draft legislation with blanket amnesty proposals and Mr. Prayuth was the person that spearheaded the proposed revisions to Section 3 of the seven-section bill.
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Dr. Weng’s Revised Version of the Amnesty Bill

On 24 October 2013, Dr. Weng Tojilakarn, co-leader of the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and Pheu Thai party list MP, have attended a meeting of the House committee scrutinising the political amnesty bill to express his support for the original version of MP Worachi Hema’s bill which does not absolve protest leaders and the culprits behind the killing of civilians.

At the parliament building, Dr. Weng warned the House of committee that there is still a chance for them to put Samutprakarn MP Worachai Hema’s original bill back on the table before they falls further down the political cliff;

“If the oppositions are accusing that there were “Black Shirt” militants within the Red Shirts protestors while saying that a blanket amnesty bill will also pardoned terrorists; the best solution for the bill to pass without controversy is to exclude protest leaders and authorities who ordered the killing from the pardon list,” said Dr. Weng, “Amnesty will bring peace to the society only if murderers were brought to justice,” he added.

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Human Rights Watch : Thailand: No Blanket Amnesty for Rights Abusers

Taken from Human Rights Watch press release on 22 October 2013.

(New York) – The Thai government and parliament should reject a proposed blanket amnesty law that would prevent prosecutions of those responsible for serious human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today.

On October 18, 2013, the House of Representatives Vetting Committee expanded a more limited amnesty bill already under consideration to include leaders from past political protests, soldiers, and authorities who carried out the crackdown on protesters.

“The proposed amnesty would allow officials and protest leaders who have blood on their hands to go unpunished,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “By whitewashing past abuses, the government denies justice to victims and tells future abusers they have little to fear.”

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UDD Press Conference on 16 October 2013

1383167_493453367419682_1190760758_nAt the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) press conference on 16 October 2013, Assoc. Prof. Tida Tavonseth, president of the UDD, praised participants and organizers from Red and Yellow October groups for organizing and attending the 40th anniversary of the student’s protest that put an end to the ruling military dictatorship in Thailand on 14 October 1973.

Mrs. Tida also mentioned of her support for Mr. Seksan Prasertkul’s speech at Thammasart University by commenting that his scientific analysis of the social gap and economic inequality within the Thai society is progressive and truly based on democratic principles. In contrast to Mr. Thirayuth Boonme speech at the 14 October Foundation’s ceremony where Mrs. Tida described it as backward and off-base from reality because it neglected changes in the society.
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