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Monday, 29 May, 2000, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Anger over Thai massacre report
Democracy Monument
Many were killed near Bangkok's Democracy Monument
Relatives of Thai pro-democracy protesters killed in the 'Black May' massacre eight years ago have finally been granted access to a military report into the incident.

But they said there were no clues to help them discover the fate of up to 187 people still missing since the military crackdown in the capital Bangkok.



We will not give up until we find out what happened to them

Adul Khiewboriboon, Father of victim
And they complained that names of officers involved in the three-day operation had been blacked out from the 600-page report.

Adul Khiewboriboon, spokesman for the relatives' action group, said they had only been allowed to see 40% of the report.

"Names of people and forces and places involved in the Black May operation have been painted over in black ink. This is not what we asked for," he added.

"The report gives no clues toward finding the missing people."

Death toll

Defence ministry spokesman Sanan Kajornklam said parts of the report had to be censored in order to protect the country's security.


General Suchinda Kraprayoon
The students were protesting against General Suchinda
But the relatives' group vowed to keep fighting to find out the truth behind the events of 17-20 May 1992.

At least 50 people were killed and more than 100 injured when Thai security forces opened fire on protesters demonstrating against the overthrow of the prime minister by the military.

But relatives of the victims believe the official figures underestimate the true death toll.

"We have asked to see the report because we believe it is our last chance to find out about the 187 people we believe went missing in that incident," added Mr Adul, whose son was killed during Black May.

Coup

The three-day confrontation was only resolved after intervention by Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej.


Thai king
King Bhumibol intervened
General Suchinda Kraprayoon, who had named himself prime minister after the coup, was forced to resign.

By the end of the year a democratically elected civilian government had taken office.

But General Suchinda and his associates were given immunity from prosecution.

Earlier this month, Amnesty International urged the government to initiate full public investigations into Black May and other possible human rights violations by the security forces.

May 1992 was a turning point for the Thai military which had staged 17 coups or attempted coups in the space of six decades.

Since then, the army has kept to its barracks, and a fledgling parliamentary democracy has developed, supported by a new constitution.

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