News / Asia

    Thai Court: Troops Killed Italian Reporter

    Anti-government ''red shirt'' protesters hold pictures of killed friends, relatives and late Italian photographer Fabio Polenghi, Bangkok's, May 19, 2011.
    Anti-government ''red shirt'' protesters hold pictures of killed friends, relatives and late Italian photographer Fabio Polenghi, Bangkok's, May 19, 2011.
    Reuters
    An Italian photo-journalist who was shot dead in Bangkok while taking pictures of a military crackdown on an anti-government protest in 2010 was killed by a bullet fired by a soldier, a Thai court ruled on Wednesday.
     
    Fabio Polenghi, 48, was killed on the morning of May 19 when troops moved in to disperse "red shirt" supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who had been camped in the center of the capital for weeks, demanding an early election.
     
    "The court ruled that orders given by Prime Minister Abhisit and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep that day led to Fabio's death," Karom Ponthaklang, a lawyer for the journalist's family, told reporters.
     
    "It is clear from the evidence that the bullet used was the kind used by Thai troops," he said. "We are satisfied with the verdict."
     
    He added that he would ask the Department of Special Investigations, part of the Justice Ministry, to press charges against Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban.
     
    Abhisit is now leader of the opposition and the government is led by Thaksin's sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, who won an election in July 2011.
     
    Elisabetta Polenghi, one of Fabio's sisters, told reporters that those ultimately found responsible for his death should be "at least the person leading the operation on the ground."
     
    The ruling could spell further trouble for Abhisit and Suthep, who were charged last year with giving orders to use live ammunition that led to civilian deaths and have a number of similar cases pending against them.
     
    If found guilty, they could face the death penalty or life in prison. Abhisit has defended his order to use live ammunition, saying the protesters' refusal to negotiate had left his government with few options.
     
    Suthep headed the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation, a crisis control center that authorized "live fire" zones during the protest and used emergency powers to shut down radio stations, a television station and Web sites.
     
    More than 90 people, including two journalists and members of the security forces, died during the two months of unrest in the Thai capital. Reuters cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto, 43, was killed by a high velocity bullet to his chest during clashes between government troops and protesters on April 10.
     
    A Truth for Reconciliation Commission set up by Abhisit's government to investigate the clashes released a report last year that laid blame for the deaths on the military and on a shadowy group of gunmen dressed in black who mingled with the protesters and fired at troops. They were presumed to be on the side of the protesters.
     
    The Thai military has a long history of intervention in politics and ousted Thaksin in a 2006 coup. The populist billionaire, who retains strong support and political influence, has been living in self-imposed exile since being sentenced to a prison term for graft.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora