Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation

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Thailand: Let peace and justice reign in Southern Thailand

Justice for all the Victims of the October 25 Tragedy now!
We as organizations and individuals who value and advocate justice, human rights and peace strongly condemn the inhuman treatment and killing of 87 people, many of whom were Muslim, in Narathiwat Province in Southern Thailand this October 25.

From direct physical assaults to indiscriminate firing of guns at protesters and enclosing the victims inside army trucks that led to the majority’s suffocation and death, these murderous and inhuman actions of the military smack at the Thaksin government’s fascism and direct brutality.

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shiniwatra’s statetements on the said events were irresponsible, injurious and biased. His public apology for recklessly commenting on the Muslim’s tradition of the Ramadan as the cause of those who died inside the military trucks is not enough. His words will not spell justice to the dead.

Using brute force and fascism on the protesters in front of the police station in Narathiwat did not address but rather evaded and muffled the reasons for the unrest. The question is not whether or not the protesters became violent, but what caused them to stand in front of the police station in the first place, and what the appropriate response from the police and army should have been.

Adding to this criminal act of the government and the military is the 1,300 people who were arrested and detained. Recently, it was reported that most of the detained protesters were released. However, there are still 189 people who remain in jail and uncertain of release.

The inhuman crackdown on the people’s dissent is denounced in the strongest sense.

We demand that:

a. An independent commission under the supervision of an International body such as the United Nations Commissioner of Human Rights should be created to lead the inquiry and investigation of the tragedy. The Thai government now in question should allow such an independent and impartial body to proceed with the investigation without fear of persecution or assault.

b. Prosecute those responsible to the brutal crime and human rights violations.

c. The immediate withdrawal of all military troops in the area.

d. The unconditional release of the remaining 189 arrested persons and detained since October 25.

e. Prime Minister Thaksin Shiniwatra should step down immediately and take full responsibility on the October 25 tragedy.

Human rights are to be upheld, not violated. Those having them protected, not killed.

We gather here today standing for and demanding justice. We shall support all initiatives to provide justice to the victims. Our hands and our hearts are up for the people of Thailand who wish nothing more than what we wish for: a country free of fear and violence, and peace that is based on justice.

Asian Students Association (ASA)

Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)

Thai Regional Alliance

United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-HK)

Asosiasi Tenaga Kerja Indonesia di HK (ATKI-HK)

For more information, visit: http://qc.indymedia.org/news/2004/11/1728.php