AFP/File – UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, pictured in April 2010, called Monday for an independent probe into …
Mon May 31, 2:46 pm ET
GENEVA (AFP) – UN human rights chief Navi Pillay called Monday for an independent probe into the recent deadly violence in Thailand and for those responsible for rights violations to be held to account.
"To foster longer-term political reconciliation, I urge the government to ensure that an independent investigation of recent events be conducted and all those found responsible for human rights violations are held to account," Pillay told the Human Rights Council at the opening of the latest session.
The comments came as Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was accused in parliament of violating human rights when he ordered an army crackdown on opposition protesters that left 88 people dead.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights acknowledged that the Thai government had tried to resolve the deadlock and that the authorities had the responsibility of restoring order.
"In doing so, however, they must abide by international standards concerning the use of force and due process for those detained," she said.
Reacting to Pillay's call, Thai ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow told the Human Rights Council that "an independent commission is being set up to look into all the incidents that took place during the protests."
"The Thai government deeply regrets the loss of lives and injuries that occurred, and is committed to bringing those responsible to account so as to provide justice to those affected by these tragic incidents," he added.
The ambassador also stressed that the use of force by security forces was a "last resort" and in line with international standards.
He added that the government stood ready to be scrutinised for its handling of the protests.
"The government does not seek to evade any responsibility," he said.
"Let me stress that the Thai government is open to scrutiny and is ready to be subject to legal process in accordance with the law," he added.