Updated: More protest arrests

29 03 2021

Protesters who had been “camping” outside Government House since 13 March and known as the “Baan Thaloo Fah village,” were detained by the police in a dawn raid on Sunday. They were “bussed to the Region 1 Border Patrol Police (BPP) Command in Pathum Thani province for ‘questioning’.”

Estimates of the number arrested vary in press reports, but the most reliable reports are of 99 detained.

This action by police “is the latest escalation by Thai security forces as they continue to carry out operations against pro-democracy demonstrators,” arresting, charging and detaining anti-regime protesters.

The Nation has a series of photos and Thai Enquirer has video links of the “violent arrest of the protesters was completely unprovoked as the demonstrators did not engage in any violent conduct and merely sat on the ground as they were manhandled and carried away by the police.”

arrested

Clipped from Bangkok Post

It adds that some of those detained minors and observes that the regime is now “much more comfortable now to use violence against peaceful protesters.” It considers that it may be that the regime is “emboldened by the atrocities carried out by their contemporaries in Myanmar, [with] the Thai security forces and the government … feel[ing] that anything they do will pale in comparison.”

But the violence we are seeing being used by the security personnel must not be allowed to be come the norm. These are not normal actions by a normal government.

These are extraordinary measures carried out by a government that is arrogantly flexing its muscles knowing that there will be little international condemnation to follow.

These actions are being conducted with the impunity that defines military-backed government in Thailand (and elsewhere).

Thai Enquirer worries that “the escalation in violence will only continue and it will be a matter of time before lives are lost.”

Update: The Bangkok Post confirms that 99 protesters were arrested. 67 were arrested in the morning and the rest in the afternoon. Police said those arrested “would initially be charged with violating the Communicable Disease Control Act and the emergency decree…”. In addition, “[t]wo monks who joined the protest were apprehended and disrobed at Wat Benjamaborphit…”. It isn’t clear if the monks were charged. Those arrested included groups associated with Ratsadon and others from the “Save Bang Kloi Coalition of ethnic Karen people from the Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi.” The police managed to concoct all kinds of allegations against the groups – see the story for the details.


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