Amnesty: Protect protesters rights

Thai authorities must protect and respect human rights during the mass protests in Bangkok next week while protest leaders should call on their followers not to commit human rights abuses, says Amnesty International.

“The situation in Thailand is tense, volatile and unpredictable. There is a real risk of loss of life and injury unless human rights are fully respected,” said Isabelle Arradon, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific office. 

“Security forces should ensure that the right to peaceful protest is upheld - however, they also have a duty to protect the safety of the public. When carrying out their work, law enforcement officials should apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force, and always exercise restraint in its use,” she said.  

“The authorities must also uphold peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression, including by protecting media workers from harassment and intimidation.” 

At least eight people are reported to have been killed and scores injured during the protests, which started in November. Amnesty called for a full, thorough, independent investigation into all incidents which resulted in injuries and deaths.

“It is crucial that authorities ensure redress for these deaths, and accountability for past abuses in Thailand which have led to loss of life or serious harm,” Ms Arradon said. 

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