Government urged to support amnesty bill
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Government urged to support amnesty bill

The Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw) group on Monday unveiled a new bill granting amnesty to all people prosecuted or facing charges in connection with political activities from Sept 19, 2006, until now.

The bill was presented at a seminar, organised by iLaw, in which some sides called on the Pheu Thai Party-led coalition to support the draft and treat it as a first step towards building reconciliation among all political groups.

Benja Apan, one those facing a criminal case over their involvement in a past political movement, said the bill was aimed at ensuring legal protection for her and other activists which had not existed in the past two decades.

The amnesty proposed in the bill could be divided into two types, said Ms Benja.

The first is an instant amnesty for those who should not have been prosecuted in the first place, including civilians sentenced by the military court for violating National Council for Peace and Order orders and people facing legal action for violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, the Emergency Decree or 2016 referendum law, she said.

All these cases are apparently political and these offenders should not have been prosecuted, she said.

The other type of amnesty will have to be decided on by a committee as to which of the other criminal cases linked with political violence were actually driven by a political motives, she said.

The committee is proposed to comprise 19 members who are the parliament president, opposition leader, the chief whip, representatives of all political parties and representatives of the people facing legal action since the 2006 military coup, she said.

Speaking at the same seminar, Amorn Amornratananont, a former supporter of the yellow-shirt People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), said he personally supported this amnesty bill because he it has the potential to help all sides overcome past political conflicts.

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