LONDON, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The leaders of the National United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), popularly known as the "Red Shirts," have installed a series of video cameras and other monitoring measures to discourage potential human rights abuses by the military and police of Thailand, said former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's lawyer Robert Amsterdam.
Amsterdam, whose law firm announced on May 3 that it had been hired by Thaksin to advocate in defense of the rights of the UDD pro-democracy movement, cited credible fears that the military was preparing an imminent raid of the encampment that could result in violence.
On May 12 the media reported that the authorities planned to cut off water, electricity, and block food supplies to the protest camp, while preparing for a possible deployment of force.
Amsterdam stated that the government of Thailand is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of the United Nations, and as such has recognized the universal principles regarding the sanctity of human life, basic rights, and the strict parameters regarding the state's treatment of its citizens. The ICCPR includes conditions for a State of Emergency under Article 4, requiring that "No derogation from articles 6, 7, 8 (paragraphs I and 2), 11, 15, 16 and 18 may be made under this provision."
There is no internal armed conflict going on in Thailand; and international law requires a high threshold for this, said Amsterdam. If nonetheless military force is engaged in support of the police, they are bound by fundamental human rights such as the protection on human life as well as compliance with the principle of proportionality during military operations, he continued. Amsterdam stated that these limits have been established by several judgments of the ECHR in recent years, addressing human rights compliance of military conduct to suppress political demonstrations.
"We join with all those who seek a peaceful resolution to the situation in Thailand, and stress the urgent need to avoid a repeat of the violence of April 10 which left 25 dead," said Amsterdam. "We wish to confirm that the Thai military is subject to the principles of customary international law, and acts in a manner which is both proportional and respectful of the sanctity of human life. A State of Emergency does not suspend these critical principles."
SOURCE Amsterdam & Peroff