Amsterdam’s talk in Malaysia cancelled

Red Shirt lawyer held a one-person dialogue in Kuala Lumpur after cancellation of an event to be hosted by Amnesty International Malaysia after advice from the Amnesty International Secretariat.

Bangkok - A dialogue with Robert Amsterdam from the law firm Amsterdam & Peroff, planned for April 23 and to be hosted by Amnesty International (AI) Malaysia and the Malaysian Bar Council Human Rights Committee, was cancelled.

Joseph Paul, Chairman of AI Malaysia, in a phone interview on Friday (April, 22), denied that the reason for cancelling the event was pressure from the Malaysian authorities.

He said that AI Malaysia had to cancel because of AI ’s ‘internal policy’ and on the advice of the International Secretariat of AI. He also said that its mission was human rights and not focused on Thai politics.

The dialogue was originally planned for 10 am to 12 noon on April, 23 at the AI Malaysia office in Petaling Jaya, Selangor State, Malaysia.

The Canadian lawyer representing Thai anti-government “red shirt” protesters was going to speak about his application to International Criminal Court  (ICC) to investigate crimes against humanity which Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is accused of ordering the army to commit, while focusing on interrelationship between filing applications, international law and the duty of states towards peaceful protestors.

After the cancellation, Amsterdam held the dialogue by himself on 23 April at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Kuala Lumpur instead.

Sources in Kuala Lumpur said that many Red shirt leaders including, acting red shirt chair Thida Thavornseth also met Amsterdam in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

Robert Amsterdam’s firm, Amsterdam & Peroff LLP, has been representing Thai anti-government protesters in the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), since May 2010.

On 31 January 2011, Amsterdam, acting on behalf of the UDD, presented a petition before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on alleged crimes against humanity during the crackdown by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in Bangkok in April and May 2010.

Amsterdam has also represented Dr. Chee Soon Juan, leader of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).


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