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  1. #1
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    Many red shirts 'abandoned' by their leaders: human rights activist

    Many red shirts 'abandoned' by their leaders: human rights activist


    By Pravit Rojanaphruk
    The Nation on Sunday
    Published on August 8, 2010

    Dozens of impoverished red shirts detained since the May 19 dispersal of the red shirts' protest have been "virtually abandoned" with no visitors and some without defence lawyers, revealed Nitirat Sapsoomboon, a member of the National Human Rights Commission's subcommittee on citizen and political rights.





    At least 10 of them are women and Nitirat said red-shirt leaders and members should visit them and afford them with legal assistance.

    "They should first get them lawyers. They should visit them," said Nitirat, adding that people may accuse him of slandering red shirts because he was formerly an active yellow-shirt member but he believes there exists a double standard as detained red-shirt leaders have received a lot of support but many ordinary red shirts do not.

    "I think the disparity exists. I understand that there may be some disparity. But this is too much. Providing moral support to those who fought along with you needs to be consistent."

    One tragic case discovered by the subcommittee, said Nitirat, is a couple who are both detained while their children are really suffering as a consequence. Another received a visit by a red-shirt lawyer only once so far.

    "It's like they have been abandoned. Especially those 100 people or so in provinces like Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen and Mukdahan. Whether these people are guilty or not they deserve due process of the law. Some are elderly people or suffering from tumours. These people deserve lawyers and the right to bail'. Otherwise it would lead to more hatred on their part. If the judicial system cannot be relied upon then don't even think about how we can achieve reconciliation," he said, adding some received no visits from their relatives while one couldn't even afford a sleeping gown.

    Nitirat admitted that the situation in the northern region was better than in the northeast. He criticised the case in Mukdahan, where 16 red shirts were badly beaten up and kept in a mobile detention vehicle for two days until their blood dried up and the local soldiers could bear the sight of these injured people no longer. In Bangkok, at least one person was believed to have been lynched by soldier. A construction worker was beaten up and arrested while sleeping in his construction compound near the protest site in Bangkok simply because he possessed a Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship (DAAD) ID card and some weapons. "This is too much!"

    The subcommittee recently signed an memorandum of understanding with the Law Society of Thailand to provide legal assistance to poor red shirts who have no legal representative.

    Admitting that many detained red shirts are not looked after, key red shirt member Sombat Boon-ngam-anong, who is in touch with Nitirat, said the red-shirt movement is too disorganised and in too much disarray to handle the matter.

    "There is no single organ handling the matter directly."

    Sombat said he would try to gather other red shirts to visit these nameless ordinary red shirts in jail soon. He said it was futile to expect the Pheu Thai Party to help. Sombat doubts the willing of the Law Society of Thailand to assist red shirts, adding that they have a well-documented history of being biased against red shirts.

    In a related development, Sombat yesterday staged a symbolic protest by tying a red banner at the City Tower Clock of Chiang Rai province in order to denounce the authorities' harassment against five students who earlier staged a protest against the emergency decree in Chiang Rai.

    One of the five students is just 16 years old. He was forced to have a mental check-up at a mental hospital by the authorities.

    "This is a severe violation of political rights," Sombat told The Nation. "Millions of people are against this law, including Anand Panyarachun, chairman of the Committee on National Reform. Does this mean millions of Thais are crazy?"

  2. #2
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    This is really quite amazing. A member of the so-called Human Rights Commission is criticizing the redshirts for the fact that their supporters are in jail and being beaten up by soldiers and possibly lynched.

    Would it be this Human Rights commisssioners job to check the allegations that he himself has made about the mistreatment of detainees rather than criticizing the UDD, most of whose leaders are in jail and whose supporters are fearful and demoralized.

    The double standards just keep piling up. First, so the story goes the Reds shot 85 supporters at Ratchaprasong and Phan Fa and now they're letting themselves get beaten up in detention.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomta View Post
    This is really quite amazing. A member of the so-called Human Rights Commission is criticizing the redshirts for the fact that their supporters are in jail and being beaten up by soldiers and possibly lynched.

    Would it be this Human Rights commisssioners job to check the allegations that he himself has made about the mistreatment of detainees rather than criticizing the UDD, most of whose leaders are in jail and whose supporters are fearful and demoralized.

    The double standards just keep piling up. First, so the story goes the Reds shot 85 supporters at Ratchaprasong and Phan Fa and now they're letting themselves get beaten up in detention.
    This is an interesting construction placed on the report above. I thought that it was more about the parlous plight of the "less entitled" as opposed to the "notorious."

    Ah, well.

  4. #4
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    The typical brown red shirt demonstrators from the Northeast were hired and used used to support the false image that the red shirt movement represented the "poor" rising up against the elite of Bangkok. In reality, this is 2 groups of wealthy Thai elite that are fighting each other for power.
    These abandoned people never were part of the movement, they just did not realize they were not anything but a disguise for their wealthy leaders to hide behind. Maybe some of them will realize it now, and I hope the Courts show those who do some mercy for their mistake.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR
    This is an interesting construction placed on the report above. I thought that it was more about the parlous plight of the "less entitled" as opposed to the "notorious."
    Whoever they are, they have been detained by the government and the government is responsible for ensuring that their human rights are preserved while in detention.

    The message that Nirat is putting out is that the UDD is somehow responsible for their mistreatment while in detention. They are all "entitled" to proper treatment, protection against the commission of crimes against them while held in detention, procedural fairness and freedom from assault. Has the government investigated Nirat's allegations of criminal assault, possible lynchings, unlawful detention, unfair denial of bail, lack of legal services and other offences against their rights? If so I have not seen any reports of this. In fact I have not seen any newspaper reports of Nirat's allegations at all which speaks to the irresponsibility of the Thai press.

    This is an entirely justifiable construction. The government, not the UDD , is responsible for the proper treatment of its prisoners.

  6. #6
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    The nation is pure government/army/PAD propaganda/spin, so it's no surprise that PAD folk write articles like this on their media 'tools'...

  7. #7
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    Wonder if they have learnt the Thai word for canon fodder

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    I think that's true most of the time, Bettyboo, but I'm not sure here. There are cracks in the walls, although the Nation is particularly thick in most ways. Pravit writes interesting stuff and here I think he succeeds in exposing a hypocrisy that masquerades as righteous concern for justice on the part of Nirat and he also manages to give a voice in the article to Sombat who has been chucked in prison and released for tying red ribbons to lamp posts.

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    ^ Yes, Nirat is the worst offender here.

    The two differing sides on this thread are probably both correct;

    The red masses were fodder, to a degree, by all sides (still, only the reds acknowledge them at all...).

    The PAD in this article is ignoring his job duties for the sake of a cheap political attack. Whilst this propaganda channel is supporting the abuse of the poor folk for tha sake of political propagandering; shame on them.

    Edit to add: this article uses an unusual narrative style. Upon further reading, I'm some way closer to Tomta's viewpoint.

  10. #10
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    Dirty dog, the Thai word for cannon fodder is voters.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    I go with BobR on this one. He says it all in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superman
    I go with BobR on this one. He says it all in my opinion.
    Well, there's a vote for the future then Mr Sino...

  13. #13
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    Superman, why? Your mere agreement with someone has some minimal interest but I'd like to know your reasons.

  14. #14
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    You can read another comment about this article at Political Prisoners in Thailand. Reading this could however be in contravention of the Computer Crimes Act (2007) as this website has been suppressed, although without a court order. So it might be OK.

    It would be a great and wonderful novelty to see a Thailand Human Rights Commisionner arguing for freedom of speech

  15. #15
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    Where's the Squarehead's cash now?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomta View Post
    This is really quite amazing.....

    The double standards just keep piling up.
    Yeah, the PT went out of their way to take care of the Red Guard canary but leave the rest to rot in the jail, unbelievable.

  17. #17
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomta
    and the government is responsible for ensuring that their human rights are preserved while in detention.
    does that include supplying legal aid and visitors ?


    Quote Originally Posted by tomta
    protection against the commission of crimes against them while held in detention, procedural fairness and freedom from assault.
    are they suffering more assaults in prison than the average ?

  18. #18
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    Yes, Baldrick, legal aid is a government responsibility. Visitors are not. Humane treatment is.

    On your second question, I don't know. However, the government is not absolved of responsibility by any reference to averages. The government is responsible for assaults in prisons.

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    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomta
    legal aid is a government responsibility
    is it in Thailand ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomta
    the government is not absolved of responsibility by any reference to averages.
    no - do you expect the government to try harder to ensure that the red shirt prisoners are better treated than your average poor Thai in prison ?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomta
    legal aid is a government responsibility

    Are you sure of that?

    Legal Aid
    There is no law dealing directly with legal aid, but it is provided for in both civil and criminal cases under the Civil and Criminal Procedure Codes. In a civil case, if the Court is satisfied that the applicant is a pauper, court fees are waived. In case the accused is 18 years old, before being informed of the offense, the inquiry officer may ask whether he/she has counsel or not. If he/she requests one, the state shall procure one. Attorney fees are prescribed by the Rules of the Ministry of Justice.
    During the inquiry procedure, a psychologist or social worker, as requested by the child and the public prosecutor, must participate in such examination if the injured person or witness is a child.

    Before the beginning of criminal case hearings, if the defendant has no counsel, one will be appointed by the Court prior to the start of the trial in cases where the charge carries a maximum sentence of death, or by request where the accused is aged 18 or younger. Attorney fees paid by the Court are very low, the maximum being THB 1,500, and are determined by the judge according to the complexity of the case.

    Cases have not gone to Trial and, to the best of my knowledge. non of the rank and file have been charged with terrorism the only offense they could be charged with that carries the Death Penalty
    Said Hamlet to Ophelia, I'll draw a sketch of thee,
    What kind of pencil shall I use? 2B or not 2B?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clogiron
    Cases have not gone to Trial and, to the best of my knowledge. non of the rank and file have been charged with terrorism the only offense they could be charged with that carries the Death Penalty
    Welll that's reassuring. They can only get death for terrorism. Whatever that is!

  22. #22
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    To Clogiron and Baldrick,

    Thailand is a signatory to numerous UN conventions guaranteeing human rights for all. Those rights don't stop because you have been detained. Orbecause you are a redshirt. They do not also stop because other prisoners who are not redshirts are being mistreated.One crime does not justify the next.

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