PPT has posted quite a lot that has been critical of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). In our last post on it, we noted that, under Yingluck Shinawatra, the NHRC has become irrelevant as it is recognised as a failed agency. We observed that the process of de-fanging the NHRC has been a post-2006 coup phenomenon. This is because the military junta and the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime that gave the NHRC extra powers, used it as a political tool and stacked it with political flunkies, including current head, Amara Pongsapich.
This political tool of the previous regime has taken more than three years to report on the events of April and May 2010. It is no surprise that the report is dead on arrival. “Biased” is the word most used in describing it. That appears to be an overly generous description. The response has been a humiliation for Amara and the NHRC.
At Khaosod: it is reported that the NHRC report “has been blasted by a number of activists and academics … which, the critics say, shifts most of the blames on the side of the protesters rather than the authorities.” The NHRC report was meant to draw lessons that could be guidelines for future governments. Khaosod summarizes the 90-page report:
that the security forces did commit several inappropriate actions – such as dropping teargas from the helicopters onto the crowd below and censoring a number of websites – but the bigger issue is that it was the Redshirts who “violated human rights” by engaging in unlawful protests and provoking the authorities.
The report concludes that the red shirts violated the law and provoked the violence. This made the Abhisit Vejjajiva government’s violent crackdown “entirely lawful,” as was the use of the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situations and the emergency law. Further, the censorship – closing down – of opposition media was “justified” by the need to eliminate “inflammatory” speeches by red shirts.
Any casualties are claimed to have resulted from “clashes between the security forces and shadowy armed militants allegedly allied to the protesters…”. This includes the murders at Wat Pathum Wanaram! This clearly contradicts a recent court finding where the military was held responsible for the deaths.
Clearly, the NHRC report is a political document that simply ignores evidence (only 184 of the 1,036 witnesses called bothered to turn up for the NHRC) in seeking to protect the military and Abhisit government allies of the NHRC. This is no idle claim, as Amara spent time with CRES, the military and Abhisit and his lot at a military base during the events,
As red shirt Sombat Boonngamanong points out, looking through this travesty is like “reading a report written by CRES itself”, with former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thuegsuban the author of many of the bizarre claims made. He calls it Abhisit’s report.
Other critics are cited in this report from Khaosod.
Amara defense of the report has been staggeringly bad. She:
… told Khaosod that she did state very clearly in her report that the Abhisit administration did violate human rights too by announcing the emergency laws which granted the government a sweeping power in 2010…. However, she insisted that the invocation of such powers were “acceptable” because the former government was observing the situation closely and only used the laws when it was clear that the protests were about to turn violent.
Yet she recently criticized Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra′s invocation of Internal Security Act to handle the anti-government protests. She has been unable to criticize previous governments she supported.
In a televised debate, Amara was even worse, and according to Khaosod:
appeared incoherent and even distracted throughout the interview, especially when pressed to explain about contentious issues such as the armed militants and deaths in Wat Pathumwanararm. Many of her replies were simply “I have not looked into that”, or “I am not sure about that”.
In another Khaosod report, Sunai Phasuk of Human Rights Watch, no enemy of the Abhisit government, accused the NHRC of “bias against the Redshirts and downplaying the heavy-handed tactics of the authorities in its report on 2010 political unrests.”
Of course, the incorrigible Democrat Party leadership wants to translate the NHRC report and use it with an international audience to “prove” its position. We assume Abhisit and Suthep will use it to defend themselves on murder charges associated with the events of 2010.
Update: PPT was surprised to see disgraced NHRC chief Amara in the media again today. She has criticized and warned police “to be cautious about its reported plan to examine the chat-application conversation histories of some suspects.” PPT would generally agree and we have said so, in stronger terms than Amara’s. However, her position is damned by the fact of her hopeless bias. It is all very well to criticize censorship and excessive legal snooping, but she seems to apply her “human rights” measure in an exceptionally partisan manner. It seems that cyber-snooping is a problem, but not censorship and murderous repression when this is conducted by her buddies in the (anti-)Democrat Party. To be a leader on human rights, one needs to understand rights, law and impartiality, none of which seem to be in Amara’s back of tricks.