Red Shirts Appeal to ICC over Killings of Protesters by Thai Military

By Amsterdam Peroff, PRNE
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Compiled evidence alleges crimes against humanity by Royal Thai Army

BANGKOK and TOKYO, January 31, 2011 - Today lawyers acting on behalf of the Red Shirt pro-democracy movement
are presenting a petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The
requesting prosecutors to open an inquiry into the situation in the
Kingdom of Thailand relating to the alleged commission of crimes against
humanity during the April/May crackdown of last year.

"We are appealing to international justice to put an end to Thai
impunity," said Thida Thawornseth, leader of the United Front for Democracy
against Dictatorship (UDD). "Our courts have failed to administer justice,
and our government has failed to investigate the murders of more than 80
peaceful protesters. The ICC is only the first step of a broad campaign to
seek justice across a number of international forums."

Speaking from Tokyo via videoconference, lawyer Robert Amsterdam drew
comparisons with how other authoritarian governments use the military to
violently repress protests. "When we look at all the striking parallels
between what is currently happening in Egypt and what the Thai government did
to the Red Shirts last year - from the killings to mass arrests to blatant
manipulation of evidence to incriminate the victims - we can see that they
are reading from the same script," said Amsterdam. "This case represents a
historic opportunity for international justice to confront governments who
deploy their militaries to use violence against their own citizens."

The ICC application contains a number of detailed testimonies, including
an expert report by Joe Ray Witty, a former U.S. Army Sergeant and crowd
control expert with the Los Angeles Police Department SWAT. Witty's report
indicates that the Royal Thai Army's operations on May 19, 2010 were
"military in nature" and "designed to kill innocent civilians, without
provocation or justification, in order to suppress the Red Shirt

The Witty report also contains a number of shocking revelations, such as
the Army's likely responsibility for grenade attacks against troops on April
10, 2010
, which served as a pretext for soldiers to begin firing into the
crowd of protesters, violating official rules of engagement.

"In light of repeated violent crackdowns throughout Thai history, this
legal filing represents the first comprehensive attempt to obtain the facts
and evidence of what happened during the 2010 massacres, let alone publish
them before the public," said Amsterdam. "What we have exposed is not just a
botched security operation, but rather a determined policy of extermination
and elimination of the Red Shirt movement by the military. These egregious
violations require answers and accountability."

A special website has been set up to host videos and witness testimonies
of the dead and injured at A copy of the
ICC application and accompanying materials will be published on

James Kimer, jkimer at, +1-917-355-0717

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