Thai gov't mulling to pardon convicted "red-shirts": Deputy PM

11:23, June 15, 2010      

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The Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) is considering whether an executive decree should be issued giving amnesty to "red-shirt" protesters charged with minor offenses, but certainly not for terrorism, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban confirmed Monday.

According to the Bangkok Post's website, Suthep, who is the CRES director, said that this is one way the CRES can support Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's reconciliation plan and help make it a success.

The CRES believes that protesters who joined the anti- government rally with honest motives and did not intend to cause violence should not be charged with breaking the emergency decree, he said.

Suthep said he had assigned a team to work on the matter and to consider the pros and cons of an amnesty.

Some people are worried that people would no longer be afraid to break the law if an amnesty is granted, he said.

"There is still no conclusion on the matter," he said. The CRES was just exploring ways of bringing peace to the country. If the majority of the people oppose an amnesty then it might not happen, he said.

Tharit Pengdit, director general of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), said that the Office of Council of State supported the plan to seek the amnesty for the "red-shirt" protesters, who were not charged with terrorism for creating national reconciliation.

He made the remarks after a meeting with the Office of Council of State and National Security Council.

The special amnesty law, which would be proposed to the cabinet meeting and the Center for the Solution of Emergency Situation for consideration, could come out in a form of either a royal decree or bill, said Tharit.

The death toll from a series of violent clashes between the " red-shirt" UDD protesters and troops during March 12 to May 19 in central Bangkok stood at 88 as some 1,885 others were wounded.

Source: Xinhua


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