Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Thailand: Thai Deputy PM Says, Protesters Ran Into Bullets

SOURCE Amsterdam & Peroff LLP

In a March 8 interview with ASTV, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban made statements regarding the killings of pro-democracy protesters in April and May of 2010. He said, "We never wanted to kill civilians or use police/army force to crack down on the demonstration, but they were killed because they ran into it."

Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Peroff LLP, a lawyer acting on behalf of members of the Red Shirt movement, issued the following response to Suthep’s comments.

"We take the rather bold position that in fact 91 Thai citizens did not 'run into' the bullets that killed them, but rather that these bullets were indiscriminately fired into crowds of unarmed demonstrators who had no route to safety by the Royal Thai Army and police," Amsterdam said. "When a government considers the act of protesting for democratic rights the same as a suicide, then how can the victims expect any justice from their courts? Let no one doubt the urgent need for an independent inquiry into the Bangkok massacres, especially following these inexcusable and abominable statements from the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand."

Amsterdam continued, "Almost a year after these mass killings of protesters, the government has still not completed any investigation nor held any official responsible. Instead, the architects of the violence were handed promotions. It's time for Suthep to put down the Gaddafi book of public relations, and begin answering long-standing questions about the events of April and May."

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep, who is responsible for national security, is one of the officials included along with Prime Minister Abhisit facing a no-confidence vote tabled by opposition parties in parliament. The debate will take place this week, and is expected to raise a number of allegations contained in the Red Shirts' application before the International Criminal Court (ICC), filed January 31st.

A copy of the ICC application and accompanying materials is available on