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A Call for Amnesty

Below is the English translation of the UDD’s statement that was released together with the draft amnesty decree.

January 15 2013

UDD Statement: A Call for Amnesty

The coup d’état of September 19th 2006 executed by the Council of Democratic Reform under the Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM), later renamed the Council of National Security (CNS), has provoked political turmoil and has caused a great divide in Thailand. This split is manifested most clearly in the form of political movements which disagree on the legitimacy of the actions of the coup-makers.

One faction advocated for the overthrow of a democratically-elected government and continues to defend the military coup. They do so on the grounds that the deposed government was led by “crony capitalists” and won elections by deception, vote-bribery, and the ignorance of the electorate. People adhering to this faction demanded that the military overthrow the government despite the fact that it had been elected by a majority of voters.

Another group has emerged in opposition to the 2006 coup d’état. The group grew into a political movement that defied those who prepared, executed, and supported the coup. The movement identified the coup d’état and the post-coup intrusions on Thailand’s democracy as the acts of an aristocratic network. For more than 5 years it has fought against the repercussions of the coup d’état which included the tearing up of the 1997 Constitution and the appointment of a puppet government. The aristocratic network also formed a committee to write a new constitution in order to control state apparatuses to suit its beliefs and interests.

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UDD Submits Draft Amnesty Decree

On Tuesday, 500 Red Shirts and UDD leaders gathered outside Laksi Prison in Bangkok to announce a draft executive decree which, if signed by prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, would grant amnesty to all political prisoners, excluding decision-makers.

The concise draft decree states that all persons, Red, Yellow, or other, charged or convicted of a criminal offense should be granted amnesty if said offense stemmed from Thailand’s post-coup political conflict (2007-2012). However, people in leadership and decision-making positions would not be let off the hook, the draft decree stipulated.

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