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Thai Opposition Rallies Against Amnesty Bill

Thai opposition protesters are gathering outside the parliament in Bangkok to show their disapproval of a bill that would grant amnesty to some involved in recent years' political violence.

About 2,000 anti-government protesters were prevented Wednesday from reaching the parliament by baton-wielding riot police, who set up concrete and barbed wire barricades outside the building.

The crowd is opposed to a bill being debated Wednesday afternoon that would do away with charges against protesters involved in political violence since the 2006 military coup that ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Some fear the bill could eventually lead to a pardon for the prime minister, who fled the country after being sentenced to two years in jail on conflict of interest charges.

Mr. Thaksin's sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is now prime minister, and her ruling Pheu Thai party has sponsored the bill.

The United Nations this week urged the Thai government to ensure that any amnesty excludes those responsible for violence, including those involved in an eruption of violence in 2010 that killed about 90 people.

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