HRW opposes blanket amnesty
- Published: 22 Oct 2013 at 11.59
- Online news:
Human Rights Watch urged lawmakers and the government on Tuesday to reject the amnesty bill forgiving all those responsible for the political violence and crackdowns.
“The proposed amnesty would allow officials and protest leaders who have blood on their hands to go unpunished,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “By whitewashing past abuses, the government denies justice to victims and tells future abusers they have little to fear.”
The bill passed through the House vetting committee on Thursday with the revised version giving blanket amnesty, including protest leaders and politicians and officers on duty, dating as far back as coup day on Sept 19, 2006. They were excluded in the original version which was passed by the House in the first reading on Aug 8.
The panel-endorsed version is expected to be tabled in the House in early November for the second reading.
The New York-based rights advocacy group exprssed concern that the ‘’worsened’’ version would enable the leaders of the bloody events to walk free. It criticised Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her Pheu Thai Party for breaking their pledge to the voters.
“To appease the military and promote a political agenda, Prime Minister Yingluck and her Pheu Thai Party are apparently willing to throw out the window the solemn promises they made to ensure justice for victims of political violence,” Mr Adams said.
Critics, opponents of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the Democrat Party have strongly opposed it on grounds that it would favour the fugitive former premier and lead to the return of his assets seized after the coup, as he would also benefit from the amnesty.