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Thailand

Thai Red Shirts demand answers over 2010 killings

Reuters/Damir Sagolj
Text by: Arnaud Dubus
2 min

Around 20,000 people gathered Sunday in the historic quarter of Bangkok to commemorate the first anniversary of violent clashes between the military and Red Shirt anti-government protesters.

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Twenty-six people died in the confrontation, including five military officers and a Japanese video journalist.

One year after, it is still unclear what happened on that day and no one has taken responsibility for the killings.

In the aftermath of 10 April 2010 clashes between the Red Shirts and the authorities intensified, resulting in a tough crackdown one month later.

Despite an official investigation commission being set up, little has been revealed on the sequence of events.

And the responsibility for the deaths has still to be determined. The military categorically deny they were responsible despite admitting that they fired live rounds on the demonstrators after coming under attack.

The government is supporting the military stance and says it is waiting for the investigation’s findings. Several victims’ families have filed lawsuits against the army and the government for manslaughter.

The Japanese government has urged Thai Prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to establish a detailed account of the circumstances in which the Japanese cameraman, Hiroyuki Muramoto, died.

At first, the Thai Department of Special Investigations, which handled the case, said that it was likely that hewas killed by a bullet fired by a soldier. But a few months later, it backtracked, apparently under pressure from the military.

The victims’ families feel embittered by what they see as impunity for the security forces. They vow to continue their campaign to uncover the truth.
 

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