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Procedure : 2010/2665(RSP)
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PV 20/05/2010 - 12.2
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PV 20/05/2010 - 13.2

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Thursday, 20 May 2010 - Strasbourg
Situation in Thailand

European Parliament resolution of 20 May 2010 on Thailand

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,

–  having regard to the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials of 1990,

–  having regard to the statements of 8 and 13 April 2010 by High Representative Catherine Ashton on the political situation in Thailand,

–  having regard to the statement of 12 April 2010 by the Secretary-General of ASEAN on the situation in Thailand,

–  having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Thailand has witnessed violent clashes between ‘red-shirt’ demonstrators and the government, together with the army supported by the ‘yellow-shirt’ movement, that have already claimed the lives of more than 60 people and left more than 1700 injured,

B.  whereas a state of emergency has been declared in more than 20 provinces across the country,

C.  whereas on 10 April 2010 violence broke out between demonstrators and security forces in Bangkok,

D.  whereas on 3 May 2010 Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva presented a roadmap with a five-point plan which should lead to general elections on 14 November 2010,

E.  whereas since 13 May 2010 there has been a further wave of violence between militant demonstrators and security forces in Bangkok,

F.  whereas the state of emergency declared by the Thai Government has led to censorship of a satellite television station, several radio and television stations, and internet sites; whereas the European Union has expressed deep concern at the threats posed to media freedom and has reaffirmed that freedom of expression is a fundamental right, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

G.  whereas an army operation launched on 19 May 2010 to tighten up a security corridor around the demonstrators' main camp left several people, including an Italian journalist, dead and dozens injured,

H.  whereas the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has expressed concern over the violence and appealed to both the protestors and the Thai authorities to do all within their power to avoid further violence and loss of life; whereas Vietnam, which holds the chair of ASEAN, has expressed concern at the worsening situation in Thailand and called on all sides to avoid violence and to seek reconciliation,

1.  Expresses deep concern about the violent conflict between demonstrators and security forces in Thailand, which poses a threat to democracy in the country, and expresses its solidarity with the Thai people and all families who have suffered the loss of loved ones during the past weeks;

2.  Recalls that the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials provide that authorities must, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms and, whenever the lawful use of force and firearms is unavoidable, must use restraint and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence;

3.  Calls on all parties to show the utmost self-restraint and to halt political violence;

4.  Welcomes the Thai Government's decision to establish a committee comprising forensic experts and representatives of academic institutions to investigate the deaths that occurred during the incident on 10 April 2010, and calls on the government to extend those investigations to cover the recent deaths; endorses the initiative by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to set up a centre to provide assistance to injured people and relatives of those killed in clashes between state officers and supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship;

5.  Acknowledges the roadmap presented by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on 3 May 2010;

6.  Calls on the Thai Government to ensure that the declaration of a state of emergency does not lead to any disproportionate restriction of fundamental rights and individual freedoms; calls on the Thai Government to end censorship and restrictions on the right to freedom of expression;

7.  Urges all parties to engage immediately in a constructive dialogue in order to seek a quick, negotiated settlement and to solve the current crisis by peaceful and democratic means;

8.  Welcomes the National Human Rights Commission's calling of a consultative meeting of intellectuals, representatives of social movements, religious leaders and the four former Prime Minsters Anand Panyarachun, Banharn Silapa-acha, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh and Chuan Leekpai to look for and put forward a solution to end this crisis;

9.  Stresses its will to support democracy in Thailand, taking into consideration the excellent nature of EU-Thai relations and Thailand's role as a source of prosperity and stability in the region;

10.  Urges the international community to make every effort to stop the violence; urges the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to monitor the political situation closely and coordinate action with ASEAN to foster dialogue and strengthen democracy in Thailand;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government of Thailand, the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

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