Thailand: Four killed in Bangkok clashes as political turmoil continues

Bangkok, Paris, 18 February, 2014 – FIDH and its member organization Union for Civil Liberty (UCL) express their extreme sorrow at the loss of life during the latest clashes between police and anti-government protestors in Bangkok today.
On February 18, four people, including one police officer, were fatally wounded and over 60 were injured during gun fights between police and anti-government demonstrators – according to the most recent information. The events happened as police forces were attempting to clear one of the protest sites located less than a kilometer from the UN headquarters.
The only way out of Thailand’s political crisis is dialogue and the acceptance of democratic rules within the constitutional framework", said FIDH President Karim Lahidji. "All parties involved must show a strong sense of responsibility in order to prevent further casualties", he urged.
FIDH and UCL call on the authorities to exercise maximum restraint in crowd control in accordance with international standards. The two organizations also call on protest leaders to ensure that dissent is expressed in a peaceful manner.
"Firing weapons, occupying government buildings, preventing civil servants from working, and blocking citizens from voting are not legitimate ways of voicing grievances", said UCL Chairman Jaturong Boonyarattanasoontorn. "Anti-government demonstrators must stick to non-violent means and refrain from violating other people’s fundamental rights", he urged.
Clashes between police and protestors in December 2013 and February 2014, as well as ongoing grenade attacks and shootings against anti-government demonstrators, have resulted in 14 deaths and over 600 injuries since the start of the protests in November 2013.
For more information, please contact:
FIDH: Arthur Manet / Audrey Couprie (Paris), +33143552518
UCL: Jaturong Boonyarattanasoontorn (Bangkok), +66890571755