The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward to you the following statement release from Working Group on Justice for Peace (WGJP).
Asian Human Rights Commission
A Statement from Working Group on Justice for Peace (WGJP) forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
THAILAND: End Violence Now!
20 May 2010
The political conflict since 14 March 2010 between the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) and the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has led to violence, human rights abuses and danger to the lives and property of the people to an unprecedented degree in Thai society. Since April 10th 2010 to May 13th 2010 the government through the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), under the leadership of the armed forces and police, has declared containment measures to resolve the crisis by carrying out suppression measures through imposing the Emergency Decree 2005 17 provinces. This empowers the state to use force to control the area around protest sites, prevent movement, cut off communications, cut off public utilities (electricity and water) and prevent supply trucks containing food and water from entering the area. At the same time, some groups of protestors are using force to respond to the governments measures. This has resulted in ongoing violence to an extent that is difficult to control and affects broader sections of the innocent population.
This kind of situation may be described as Thailand entering a state of turmoil, civil war or internal unrest where fundamental rights of the individual to conduct her/his life have been violated. This is contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and especially International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which are binding on all member states of the United Nations in cases of armed conflict.
WGJP, as a local human rights organization, expresses its deep regret that this situation has arisen and wished to condemn all parties that practice violence. WGJP calls for an end to all uses of violence. WGJP therefore calls on all parties, especially those using violence, as follows.
1. To strictly uphold International Humanitarian Law, especially in preventing violations of the rights of civilians, children, women, detainees, and those not involved with the conflict. The wounded must receive immediate treatment regardless of race, religion, gender, economic status or political beliefs or principles. The practice of torture is forbidden. Enforced disappearances and actions that degrade human dignity are forbidden. It is forbidden to pass any sentence that does not follow the judicial process in an independent and public court. This all accords with the content of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in a time of war or armed conflict and the 2nd Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention on the protection of victims of non-international armed conflict such as civil war and conflict between the government and insurgent forces (www.icrc.org).
2. To uphold and respect the basic human rights of all parties, especially the right to freedom of expression and the right to political expression which are guaranteed under the Thai constitution international law. Demonstrations must peaceful without weapons and at the same time if it is necessary for the state to end the protest, this must respect international rules of engagement and must especially protect the lives of protestors.
3. To call for the state to revoke the declaration of the use of the Emergency Decree in all areas and for protestors to stop using weapons of any kind and return to the demonstration peacefully and strictly according to rule of law in order to reduce any conditions that will lead to violence. The state should also use this approach to revoke the emergency decree in the Southern Border Provinces.
4. To call for the government and groups of demonstrators who support and oppose the government to use conscience and wisdom, based on patience and restraint in solving this problem in order to overcome this crisis together. All parties must show sincerity in the need to end violence without regard to personal benefits or wishes. All must apply non-violent means, respect the law and to be ready to show responsibility to the wounded and the killed. All parties must be subject to a fair trial under the judicial system and return to negotiations to prevent events from spreading to the point where the damage cannot be made good. WGJP presents this statement for the benefit of all the people of Thailand.
Working Group on Justice for Peace (WGJP)
Contact: Angkhana Neelapaijit +66 84 728 0350
Puttanee Kangkun +66 86 332 1249
Working Group on Justice for Peace
24/158 Soi. Ladpharo 21, Ladphrao Rd., Ladphrao, Jatujak, BKK 10900
Tel. 0 2975 9975
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