January 24, 2014 00:00 By Pravit Rojanaphruk The Nation
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed concerns over the use of the Red Cross emblem by doctors, nurses and pharmacists who joined the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) march on Monday.
In a letter, Beat Schweizer, chief of the ICRC Regional Delegation, said the ICRC had contacted the Thai Red Cross about the issue after receiving a complaint and said that the complainant was “perfectly correct in pointing out that the Red Cross emblem cannot be used for political purposes”.
Schweizer’s letter said: “Following the extensive presence of Red Cross flags in anti-government demonstrations in Bangkok at the beginning of this week, we have intensified our contacts with all stakeholders, including the Thai Red Cross, and addressed the issue. Thai legislation provides, in fact, a rather strong protection of the Red Cross emblem.
“In parallel, we also continue to explain why it is important to preserve the impartiality and neutrality of the Red Cross, and of medical services in general, particularly in situations of violence and conflict.”