Rule of law commission pushes for amnesty bill
The Independent National Rule of Law Commission (NRLC) has called on MPs and Senators to table a bill in Parliament that pardons those involved in political rallies between September 19, 2006 to May 10, 2011.
NRLC chairman Ukrit Mongkol-navin yesterday issued a statement saying that the six-Article bill aims to bring peace and unity back to the deeply divided Thai society.
According to the bill's Article 3 the following actions undertaken during political rallies will not be considered as offences:
_ Public statement or advertisement against the Constitution;
_ Resisting arrest;
_ Protests that lead to negative consequences to others or the assets of others.
The Article 3 also says that those who committed these offences will not be convicted or made responsible in any way.
However, the amnesty does not appear to include those who launched the rallies, were pulling the strings behind the scenes or those who enforced law to maintain peace.
The bill's Article 4 stipulates that investigators and prosecutors drop cases against those deemed innocent according to Article 3.
Deputy Senate Speaker Surachai Liengboonlerschai, however, suggested that the timeframe should start before September 19, 2006, because that was when the coup was staged and many rallies had been held before the coup.
Opposition whip Jurin Laksana-wisit, meanwhile, advised Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to be careful when deciding whether this amnesty law should be legislated.
"I believe the country will be in a turmoil when this bill is passed into law," he warned.