Protecting villains

In the context of The Dictator’s ramblings about “human rights” and law and “justice,” a commentary at the World Socialist Web Site on the impunity enjoyed by government officials in murdering civilians is worth reading, even if the details are well known (and a little scrambled in places).

It says that a Supreme Court ruling “ended the trials of ex-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban, who were responsible for the deadly military crackdown on mass protests in 2010 that left more than 90 people dead.”

In fact, the ending came much earlier, and this court decision merely confirmed the decisions of lower courts not to hear the case. It was the National Anti-Corruption Commission that ruled that murdering citizens “in the line of duty” was quite okay.

(In another case, the NACC pushed charges against Somchai Wongsawat and others, but these were dismissed by a court. The initial double standards should be acknowledged. So should the fact that this case did not involve the massive use of military force.)

The article notes that the NACC has a recent history of political partisanship:

Despite dozens of complaints filed by civilians and political parties since 2014, primarily centred on nepotism and corruption, the commission has dropped or arbitrarily prolonged all cases against military officials.

It is added that it is an “illusion that justice can be obtained through the NACC” by appealing the Supreme Court’s decision. It criticizes the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship for promoting this illusion.

The report also notes that the military junta “is determined to protect Abhisit and Suthep from prosecution because a conviction could open the way for legal action against the military.”

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