Matichon Online has reported that the families of victims of the deadly 2010 military crackdown released a statement on 19 May 2023, calling for an end to impunity.
In 2010, tens of thousands of red-shirt protesters rallied in the middle of Bangkok in mid-March calling for the government, led by Abhisit Vejjajiva, to dissolve parliament in response to the dissolution of the People’s Power Party.
The situation deteriorated when the government launched a brutal crackdown during April and May 2010, resulting in a large number of casualties with 94 killed and at least 1,238 injured. It was the worst political crackdown since Black May in 1992.
On 19 May 2023, the anniversary of the last day of the 2010 crackdown, the victims’ families, activists and political figures gathered at the Ratchaprasong Intersection and Wat Pathum Wanaram, a Buddhist temple where many were killed, to make merit in remembrance of the victims of the crackdown.
“This massacre is just one of the injustices that have happened in Thai society. The perpetrators’ wrongdoings have never appeared in the Thai justice system. One reason is because there are an increasing number of organizations that play a role in fostering impunity for state power,” according to the statement.
The victims’ families expressed their opinion on the need to end impunity and called for a pro-democracy government to make the truth evident. They also called for healing for those affected and for legal action to be taken against the perpetrators.
They stated that they need the courts to re-adjudicate the cases that have left the public in doubt. There should be measures to ensure that no such deadly situation happens to people in the future. The victims’ families also called for the people involved in political offences in 2006 to be exonerated from guilt and for the new government to ratify the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction. The military must stay out of Thai politics.
“The state will tell us that liberty must have limits. The people also want to tell the state the same thing, that there must be limits to the use of power and responsibility for using power. Lastly, we, the families of victims of the political events in 2010, wish to announce that this day, the 19th of May of every year, is the national day to end the culture of impunity,” according to the statement.
Phayao, the mother of one victim, said she wants the new government to consider the statement. She hopes that the government will be able to bring justice to those affected by the crackdown and restore the human dignity of the victims in the incident who were accused of being terrorists.