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Police under fire for assault at anti-Apec rally

Police under fire for assault at anti-Apec rally

BANGKOK: Police are under fire after the emergence of a video showing an officer assaulting a reporter covering an anti-Apec protest yesterday (Nov 18), while detained demonstrators are facing multiple charges.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 19 November 2022, 10:45AM

Photo: Bangkok Post

Photo: Bangkok Post

“I’m for real. Bear this in mind,” the voice of a riot police officer is heard saying in the video, as law enforcement authorities were attacking the reporter for the online news site The Matter, although he shouted that he was a reporter and showed his Press armband.

The incident took place at 12:45pm on Din So Road near the Democracy Monument as the protesters attempted to begin a march from Lan Khon Muang - the public ground and designated protest site outside City Hall - to the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, where the Apec summit was being held seven kilometres away.

The Thai Journalists Association (TJA) said a Reuters photographer was slightly hurt by hard objects thrown near the monument.

The TJA demanded an immediate investigation to find out whether the policeman in the clip was violently overreacting to the incident against the reporter from The Matter, reports the Bangkok Post.

The Matter issued a statement condemning the assault on its reporter. It urged authorities to show responsibility and for swift action from investigators.

Another video that has gone viral shows an officer in full riot gear forcefully pushing an elderly monk into a wall on Din So Road.

Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Achayon Kraithong said in a press briefing that registered media members had been told to stay in safe areas where they would not obstruct the work of the police. But he promised to look into the case of the injured journalist covering the rally.

Ten people suffered minor injuries in the afternoon clash, according to the Erawan Medical Centre. One demonstrator was reported to have suffered a serious eye injury. Five police officers were hurt in clashes with demonstrators, some of whom were seen throwing smoke bombs and other objects.

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“We weren’t able to control the situation, that is why the use of force was necessary,” Pol Maj Gen Achayon said.

Authorities erected shipping containers to block the path of protesters near the monument.

Twenty-five protesters were arrested and were being detained at the Thung Song Hong police station, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.

The police spokesman said the demonstrators could face several charges, including damaging state property and obstructing the work of authorities.

“We are gathering evidence on all offences,” Pol Maj Gen Achayon said.

About 100 demonstrators began gathering in the rain in front of the Thung Song Hong police station around 4pm to demand the release of their detained colleagues. As of 8:30pm many were still there and vowing not to leave until the detainees were released.

Police closed the gate of the compound and lined up inside. Nobody was allowed to enter the area.

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Kurt | 20 November 2022 - 08:41:17

.. show they were never a danger for the Apec participants or the Thai democratic national security. All blowen out of proportions by RTP. Always the same, when it comes to 'real stuff' the RTP is incompetent to handle. Looks they are trained in mediation/money affairs only. Some can reach high, see Joe Ferrari.

JohnC | 20 November 2022 - 08:39:29

It's always the same story. Give them, (little men with fragile egos and no real power), a uniform they think they're Hitler, or even a Putin. 

Kurt | 20 November 2022 - 08:35:51

For Apec thousands of extra cctv cams ( great commission stuff) installed. Friday was a extra holiday, nice free day for people who wanted to protest as they didn't have to work ( who planned this?). CCTV was only good to register that RTP was not prepaired for the 'Apec job', as that general said. The small number of arrests and almost immidiatetely release of demonstrators show they ...

Kurt | 19 November 2022 - 21:51:01

Dek, in 'my' country police go through crowd training exercises. Like 20 police officers against 100 other police officers who pplay protester roles. De-escalation training is a important part of training programs. Not immediately with full force in the attack doing with weaponry. Seeing that photo of the attacking of old monk. Crazy RTP behavior. It was as the general said: "We could...

DeKaaskopp | 19 November 2022 - 15:41:41

@Kurt  Never seen police overreacting in your own country ?  And peaceful crowd ?  Throwing smoke bombs and other objects is peaceful ? 

Kurt | 19 November 2022 - 12:56:04

"We weren't able to control the situation", a police general said. So, they, thai way, panicked, put their brain on 'zero' and start doing silly things, using overreacting force. The Apec was known long time to come. Why was RTP not able to keep peacefull small crowd control? Even molested a journalist and a older monk. Pathetic.


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