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Declaration of Street Justice » Red Shirts
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Red Shirts Pressure Government to Grant Amnesty

An estimated 4,000 Red Shirts marched from the Royal Plaza to the Government House on Tuesday to demand amnesty for Thailand’s political prisoners.

Organized by the Red Shirt group called the Declaration of Street Justice, recently renamed the January 29 For the Release of Political Prisoners group, the protesters called on the government to recognize an amnesty proposal that was drafted by the Nitirat Law group of Thammasat University. The proposal would achieve amnesty through constitutional reform, which in itself continues to be a pressing issue for the government. The protesters demanded a response by 6pm, after which the government replied that it would consider all amnesty proposals carefully.

UDD leader Tida Tawornseth expressed her gratitude to Tuesday’s protesters, she said,

We thank everybody who came out yesterday to show the government that Thailand needs amnesty for the people. Regardless of what method is proposed and ultimately implemented, we share the common goal of freeing political prisoners.

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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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