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THAILAND – Stop the crackdown on civilians!

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Gathered in South Korea for the Gwangju Asia Forum, 566 individuals have endorsed the statement below condemning “the brute force used by the Thai security force against civilian protesters.” The participants commemorated the courage of people who stood up against the military dictatorship in South Korea thirty years ago.

(21 May 2010, Gwangju) We, the participants of 2010 Gwangju Asia Forum, are human rights defenders including activists, journalists, academics and students across Asia and gathering to commemorate the courageous people of Gwangju who rose against the military dictatorship in 1980. We are here to honour this democratic spirit with the Korean and internationally distinguished representatives at this very special event.

We are deeply concerned about the current crackdown in Thailand by the security troops on the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) protesters. This has led to a high death toll of civilians, arson at various spots in Bangkok and widespread unrest following the surrender of the UDD leaders to the police. As a result, the government of Thailand is imposing curfew in Bangkok and up to 20 other provinces, the first time in 18 years.

We, the participants of 2010 Gwangju Asia Forum, strongly condemn the brute force used by the Thai security force against civilian protesters. The violence must stop immediately. We call on both sides to return to negotiation in order to find a peaceful solution to the current deepening crisis. Peaceful negotiation is the only way out if Thailand were to return to democracy.

To read the whole statement, please click here.