The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

‘We did nothing wrong,’ say police

‘We did nothing wrong,’ say police

THAILAND: Police have defended their harsh actions against protesters at Sanam Luang on Saturday night (Mar 20) amid mounting criticism from activists and academics.

By Bangkok Post

Monday 22 March 2021, 10:06AM

Police say protesters started the violence. Photo: AFP.

Police say protesters started the violence. Photo: AFP.

The violence left 20 people, including three reporters, and 13 police injured, according to the Erawan Medical Centre. A reporter from Channel 8 TV was hit in the head with a rubber bullet. About 20 protesters were arrested for breaking public gathering laws and insulting the monarchy.

Police insisted yesterday that their operations using batons, rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon were in accordance with international standards.

“Violence originated from the protesters’ side and police have to defend the law and protect state assets,” said a deputy commissioner and spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

Police faced a firestorm of criticism after a video clip showing police chasing protesters and hitting them with batons to subdue resisting protesters went viral.

One of the protesters was hit after he fell down with others fleeing police in riot gear. Some protesters abandoned their motorcycles. Another video showed people taking refuge from tear gas in a restaurant.

The incident in the clip took place about 10pm at Chaloem Wanchat Bridge in Bang Lamphu area. Police said they fired tear gas after some protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at them.

Police then decided to arrest them and eight people were nabbed at the scene.

However, protesters slammed police for causing the violence.

“Violence came from them [police] as they used tear gas and water cannons before protesters did anything,” said activist Rukchanok Srinork, 27, who was at the rally. “They have helmets, shields, crowd control training. If there is a stone thrown, raise your shields.”

Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, deputy rector at Thammasat University who is a legal scholar, said authorities shooting rubber bullets “was problematic”.


A screen capture from a video clip which has gone viral shows a protester being attacked by anti-riot police on Chaloem Wanchat Bridge on Saturday night.

He said their method of shooting rubber bullets violated a universal guideline on deploying kinetic impact projectile weapons by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“According to the OHCHR guideline, guns must be aimed below the abdomen or the legs, but as far as I can see, the guns were parallel to the ground which was unlawful as it could cause people [to lose their] lives.

“They also deployed the weapons when people were about to disperse, and towards journalists,” he said. Some injured people were hit by bullets in the temple, chest and upper torso.

Six media organisations yesterday called on both protesters and riot police to refrain from using weapons and force and provoking violence. They urged journalists covering such conflicts to ensure their own safety.

“Once again every reporter and cameraman covering a political rally should wear a press armband any time they go out to work.

“After all, the arm band doesn’t guarantee their safety but their [police] protective gear does,” said the groups in joint remarks.

The six organisations were the National Press Council of Thailand, the News Broadcasting Council of Thailand, the Thai Journalists Association (TJA), the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association (TBJA), the Online News Providers Association, and the National Union of Journalists, Thailand.

National Human Rights Commissioner of Thailand Prakairat Tanteerawong said the NHRC would hold a meeting on the issue today.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Kurt | 22 March 2021 - 12:00:58

Journalist safety is doubtful as long Thai Government sees a bulletproof vest as a weapon. Seems Thai police is trained on 'horizontal' shooting, same as their colleagues in Myanmar.

Kurt | 22 March 2021 - 11:53:40

Well, 'Myanmar handling' by Thai police. No problem, they just shuffle this in a 'Insulting Monarchy' portfolio, and everybody has to remain silent. In Thailand many times conveniently is the Monarchy used falsely as a shield. Pity. Perhaps the Palace should order not to do so. It is damaging the image of The Royal House.


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Phuket rapid test on arrival: Foreigners to pay, Thais tested free

Sexpats abandon the legions of cheap prostitutes? C'mon, get real. And yes, I consider lovely yo...(Read More)

Temples urged to cremate COVID dead as national death toll escalates

Are people rubbing the corpses and then sticking their fingers in their noses or eyes? Oh wait,...(Read More)

Phuket rapid test on arrival: Foreigners to pay, Thais tested free

"....should avoid this country" Lala, that gives us a clue about the size of your brain if...(Read More)

Sputnik V to launch in Thailand

So, Pfizer is not yet registered and approved for use locally, has Sputnik V already gone through th...(Read More)

Full Phuket COVID restrictions order published

Until now Phuket Governor still didn't say that Phuket itself is a Red Zone when he mention Red-...(Read More)

Blood donations urged as COVID spurs shortage

I would give blood, did so for many years in the UK, but they will not accept me as I am too old...(Read More)

Blood donations urged as COVID spurs shortage

Seems Phuket Officialdom is not prepared for what ever the Covid-19 national death toll and infectio...(Read More)

Temples urged to cremate COVID dead as national death toll escalates

National Covid-19 death toll escalates. And what is mostly not vaccinated Phuket doing? It opens up ...(Read More)

Phuket rapid testing of arrivals begins

@Fascinated I would suggest visiting other provinces currently is not the smartest move??...(Read More)

Phuket rapid testing of arrivals begins

April 11 there was many people living in 2 hotels for many days in phuket whit Covid-19. One hotel ...(Read More)