Call for changes in Thailand amnesty

April 5, 2012 at 3:30 PM
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BANGKOK, April 5 (UPI) -- Amnesty for offenses committed during Thailand's political crisis should not be offered for human rights violations, Amnesty International said Thursday.

The organization of human rights activists based in London said in a statement that Thailand's Committee on National Reconciliation, which is holding a three-day conference in Bangkok on a report suggesting amnesty to all sides of a political upheaval that began with an overthrow of the government in 2006, not include those accused of human rights violations.

"Amnesties for grave human rights violations are not permissible under international law. Thailand should investigate all allegations of abuses, regardless of the political affiliation of the individual, and those who are suspected of criminal responsibility should be prosecuted," said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International's Thailand researcher.

The statement pointed out that Thailand's "lese majeste" laws, which include severe penalties for insulting or defaming the royal family, are not in line with international standards of free expression, and that investigations of the 93 people killed in 2010 political violence indicate direct government involvement in at least 16 deaths.

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