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Appeal Against Repression in Thailand
For more than two months, the Red Shirts have mobilised with decisiveness and purpose in the streets of Bangkok to support their demands of democracy and social justice.
The government led by Abhisit Vejjajiva chose to respond to these demands with violence and repression. It committed a serious violation against human rights when it authorised the use of military hardware to dissolve the demonstrations. The result was extremely serious: there were at least 89 dead and nearly 2000 wounded.
Today, democratic rights are not respected: there are 99 arrest warrants against opponents. The places where most of the detainees are held are kept secret. The government has imposed censorship on the alternative media. The penalties incurred are especially severe: from 3 to 15 years for “lese majesty” to the death penalty for “terrorism”.
The Red Shirts are being treated by the government as if they were “terrorists”. It is a complex movement, but its members are mainly ordinary poor people whose most elementary political rights –like the respect due to the result of an election—have been ignored.
The Thai government can continue to repress the Thai people freely, because its constant violations against human rights have not been confronted by international solidarity and condemnation. We make a call to all progressive and democratic organizations to demand the end of the repression and the respect of fundamental rights in Thailand; to start an international campaign to obtain the freedom of political prisoners and the end of intimidation and inculpation of the Red Shirts.
We demand from the Thai government that it raises the State of Urgency and immediately re-establishes democratic freedoms in the country; that it ends the repression against the Red Shirts and that all prisoners are freed without any delay.
First signatures :
1. Samir ABI, General Secretary, Attac (Togo)
2. Gilbert ACHCAR, SOAS, Professor of the University of London (UK)
3. Christophe AGUITON, Researcher (France)
4. Osman AKINHAY, Writer and editor of Mesele Revue (Turkey)
5. Greg ALBO, Professor at the York University, Toronto (Canada)
6. Josep Maria ANTENTAS, Professor of sociology, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Catalonia)
7. Daniel ANTONINI, International Secretary of PRCF (France)
8. Zely ARIANE, Spokesperson of KPRM-PRD (Indonesia)
9. Salvador LOPEZ ARNAL, Writer and Professor-tutor of Mathematics , UNED (Spain)
10. AU Loongyu, Editorial board member of China Labor Net (Hong Kong)
11. Walter BAIER, Coordinator of the European network Transform ! Editor of the magazine Transform !, Vienne (Austria)
12. Jean BATOU, Professor at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
13. Pierre BEAUDET, Professor at the University of Ottawa (Canada)
14. Walden BELLO, Member of the Congress, Akbayan representative (Philippines)
15. Paul BENEDEK, Thai Red Australia (Australia)
16. Olivier BESANCENOT, Spokesperson of NPA (France)
17. Hugo BLANCO, Director of « Lucha Indígena », (Peru)
18. Saumen BOSE, Radical Socialist (India)
19. Tapan BOSE, Radical Socialist (India)
20. Peter Boyle, National Convener, Socialist Alliance (Australia)
21. Alex Callinicos, Professor, chair of European Studies at King’s College London (UK)
22. Porferia CARPINA, KASAMMAKA (Philippines)
23. Mabel CARUMBA, Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement (Philippines)
24. Kunal CHATTOPADHYAY, Professor of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, Radical Socialist (India)
25. Kamal MITRA CHENOY, Chair, Centre for Comparative Politics & Political Theory, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (India)
26. Ashok CHOUDHARY, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (India)
27. Annick COUPÉ, Spokesperson of Union Syndicale Solidaires (France)
28. Cyc CUABO, ERDAC, Inc. (Philippines)
29. Lucile DAUMAS, Attac (Marocco)
30. Sushovan DHAR, Radical Socialist (India)