RATCHAPRASONG, MAY 5, 2010: Family members of red-shirt protesters who were killed by the Thai Army at the Si Yak Kok Woe intersection on April 10 gathered at the Ratchaprasong stage today to show support for the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship’s (UDDs) ongoing pro-democracy rally.
Fathers, mothers, wives, brothers and other relatives of those killed expressed their dismay at the use of deadly war weapons against their family members, who they say were armed with nothing more than water bottles, sticks and perhaps rocks.
“We’ve seen the video from that night… video of a man waving a flag and then being shot and his head disintegrated. We can’t believe the cruelty and brutality the Thai government and Thai Army used against the protesters”, one said.
Those gathered at the protest site also described the impact the loss of their loved ones had had on their families and their lives, and also expressed their determination to file criminal and civil cases against the Thailand government, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, and the Thai Army.
Many of the victims relatives have already filed police reports concerning the bloody April 10 crackdown and said that on May 10 they will proceed to file criminal cases in the Thai Criminal Court, as well as prepare documents for the International Criminal Court and the Thai civil court.
Despite their loss, the group remained defiant and urged red-shirt protesters to not give up their fight for democracy and the dissolution of the Thai parliament.
When asked whether they felt the rally should continue they said, as a group, that it should, and also called on PM Abhisit to dissolve the house sooner, rather than later.
The surviving family members also said that there are many people in their home villages, towns, and provinces who have been deeply angered by the violent military crackdown of April 10 and who are ready and willing to bolster the protesters at the Ratchaprasong rally site and continue the fight for democracy if parliamentary dissolution does not proceed.
Without exception the relatives of those killed said they did not believe the five point road map for reconciliation suggested by Mr. Abhisit was a genuine offer and said they hoped protesters would not go home until dissolution and fresh elections were achieved.
When asked what they thought of the red-shirt leaders refusing to ask for amnesty, they said they respected the stance by the red-shirts leadership and as a group said there should be no amnesty for Mr. Abhisit, deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban, or those who commanded the military operation on April 10.
Royalty free pool photographs can be found at: Relatives of those killed by the Thai Army on April 10 speak out
Today is day 51 of the red-shirts pro-democracy protest against the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the 31st day protesters have occupied the Ratchaprasong shopping precinct in the heart of Bangkok.