국제앰네스티는 18일 태국군에 방콕의 몇몇 광장에 집결해있는 반정부 시위자들에 대한 실탄 발포행위를 중단할 것을 요청했다.국제앰네스티 벤자민 자와키(Benjamin Zawacki) 태국 전문가는 “목격자의 증언과 녹화 영상을 통해서 태국군이 아무런 위협을 끼치지 않는 무장하지 않은 민간인들을 향해 실탄을 발포한 것이 밝혀졌다”며 “며 “이것은 핵심 인권인 생명권에 대한 중대한 침해”라고 전했다.
태국 정부가 13일부터 “라챠프라송(Rachaprasong) 작전”을 감행하면서 태국군은 방콕의 몇몇 시위 장소에 고무탄과 실탄을 발포했다. 태국 정부는 시위자 가운데 약 500명의 “테러리스트”들이 숨어있다고 주장했다.
이 와중에 최소 35명의 비무장 시위자가 숨졌으며, 15일과 16일 적십자 표시가 뚜렷하게 그려진 백색 의사 가운을 입은 의사 두 명이 숨졌고, 15일 , 17세 소년이 숨졌다. 14일에는 시위자들에 군사적 조언을 했던 카티야 사왓디퐁(Khattiya Sawatdiphon) 육군 소장 (Seh Daeng 이라고 알려짐)이 총탄에 맞아 17일 숨졌다. 이 외에도 추가로 한 명의 군인이 숨졌다.
태국 및 외국국적의 언론인 다수와 10세 남자아이를 포함하여 200명 이상이 부상을 입었다.
Thai military must halt reckless use of lethal force
18 May 2010
Thai soldiers must immediately stop firing live ammunition into several large areas in Bangkok where anti-government protesters are gathered, Amnesty International said today.
“Eye-witness accounts and video recordings show clearly that the military is firing live rounds at unarmed people who pose no threat whatsoever to the soldiers or to others,” said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Thailand specialist. “This is a gross violation of a key human right – the right to life.”
“Deliberately firing live ammunition at unarmed people, whether they be protesters or otherwise and who pose no credible threat to anyone else, is unlawful,” said Zawacki.
Since 13 May, when the government began “Operation Rachaprasong”, soldiers have fired rubber and live rounds in and around protest sites in several parts of Bangkok. The government claims that there are around 500 “terrorists” hiding among the protesters.
At least 35 unarmed protesters have been killed. The dead include two medics who were wearing white medical uniforms with visible red crosses, shot on 15 and 16 May; and a 17-year-old boy, shot on 15 May. Maj. Gen. Khattiya Sawatdiphon (known as “Seh Daeng”), a military advisor for the protesters, was struck by a sniper’s bullet on 14 May and died on 17 May. In addition, another soldier has been killed.
Over 200 people have been injured, including several Thai and foreign journalists, and a 10-year-old boy.
“The government cannot allow soldiers to essentially shoot at anyone within an area it wishes to control,” said Zawacki.
The government’s Rules of Engagement, as articulated by its Center for Resolution of Emergency Situation (CRES) on 14 May, state that live rounds may only be used as warning shots fired into the air, in self-defence, or when forces can clearly see those the security forces consider as “terrorists”. On 16 May, CRES declared several areas just adjacent to the protest site as “live fire zones”.
Several eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that they witnessed soldiers shooting into the area using long-range rifles-at a distance from which the victims were not likely to present any danger.
CRES Spokesperson Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on 14 May that troops would keep a distance from the protesters, and would use live ammunition to stop people from coming closer. When shooting to stop protesters, troops would aim below the knee and fire only one bullet at a time.
“This is unacceptable under international law and standards, which provide that firearms may be used only as a last resort, when a suspected offender offers armed resistance or otherwise jeopardizes the lives of others, and less extreme measures are not sufficient to restrain or apprehend the suspected offender. Outside of clear situations of self-defence, riot control should be performed by trained police using non-lethal equipment, not by soldiers using live ammunition,” said Zawacki.