Press Release: Time for International Community to Act on Thai Political Crisis, says Thaksin Lawyer

The following press release is being distributed to the media regarding Robert Amsterdam’s visit to Bangkok. Time for International Community to Act on Thai Political Crisis, says Thaksin Lawyer BANGKOK, May 12, 2010 – Robert Amsterdam, a lawyer acting on behalf of the former Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra, calls upon the international community to respond to the Thai government’s violent crackdown on protestors in Bangkok.

 According to recent media reports, at least 17 people are confirmed dead and 140 injured, many seriously, after the Thai military opened fire with live ammunition on red shirt protesters in the centre of Bangkok yesterday. Three foreigners have been injured, including a French-Canadian journalist who was hit by three bullets and is in a serious condition.

Observing events in Bangkok, Amsterdam stated that the use of live ammunition without warning on unarmed, peaceful protestors represents “a disproportionate response” in violation of the Thai constitution and basic human rights under international treaties. He called upon regional and global leaders to “issue a joint declaration in favor of an immediate cessation of violence by government forces and a return to democratic process.””There has been enough blood on the streets of Bangkok this past month, and it is time for the international community to act,” Amsterdam said. The Thai government had breached the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and universal principles regarding the sanctity of human life, basic rights and strict parameters regarding a state’s treatment of its citizens, said Amsterdam.”The recent conduct of the Thai military represents an egregious disregard for the safety of citizens and the sanctity of human life, and requires a firm and immediate response,” said Amsterdam. “Under the ICCPR treaty, if military force is engaged in support of the police, the military is bound by fundamental human rights such as the protection on human life as well as compliance with the principle of proportionality during military operations. The government of Thailand has violated this agreement, and must be held accountable for its actions in this difficult moment for the country.”###