With 3 updates: Deadly serious II

18 08 2021

The Bangkok Post reports that “protesters gathered at Ratchaprasong intersection and tried to pelt pink dye at the nearby Royal Thai Police Office…. Around 100 protesters of the Thalu Fa group showed up at Ratchaprasong intersection at about 3.30pm to demand that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha resign.” They were also protesting the use of live ammunition in the previous day’s rally:

Police were the target on Tuesday as the protesters believed they had reacted violently during previous crackdowns. Three boys, aged 14-16, were shot by live rounds during the clash at Din Daeng on Monday night. The 15-year-old was in critical condition.

On that use of live rounds, the Thai Enquirer reports that on Monday evening, “police once again clashed with protesters which saw two demonstrators shot with live ammunition.” Later, the number was three.

The Nation also reported the shootings in “a clash with police in Bangkok’s Din Daeng area on Monday.” It added that one young protester “was shot in the back of his head. He fell immediately and was later taken to Rajavithi Hospital…”, and that at “around 9.30pm another protester was reportedly shot in his right arm and is being treated at the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital.”

The report continued to state that “police representatives insist only barriers and rubber bullets were used during the clash.”

The Bangkok Post took up the police claims, reporting that they “denied firing live ammunition at protesters of the Thalu Fah group during chaotic scenes in front of Din Daeng police station on Monday night, saying only rubber bullets were used…”.

Meanwhile, “Rajavithi Hospital announced on Tuesday morning it had found a bullet lodged in the head of a seriously wounded young protester rushed there by ambulance on Monday night. He remained in a coma.”

The report adds: “Pol Col Rathachai Sriwichai, the Din Daeng police chief, on Tuesday denied his men used live rounds against the protesters.” He was reportedly “responding to a video clip posted on the social media with a voice-over alleging that about 8.45pm Din Daeng police opened fire at the protesters with live ammunition and some protesters were hit.”

The policeman stated that “[p]olice were gathering evidence to take legal action…”. That’s kind of definitional of the regime’s political police. They are not collecting evidence about the shootings, but to charge social media users with computer crimes:

Pol Col Rathachai said he would prepare a report for his superiors on the posting of the online video and voice-over allegation.They would decide whether it constituted a violation of the Computer Crimes Act.

In total, at least:

… [s]ix protesters were reported injured…. Three of them reportedly had bullet wounds. They were an unidentified man, about 20 years of age, who was admitted to Rajavithi Hospital; Supat Wathanakul, age not known, admitted to Petcharavej Hospital; and, Thanapol Homya, 14, admitted to Chulalongkorn Hospital.”

The three others were injured in a running brawl. They were Apichok Narongchai, 22, who was admitted to Petcharavej Hospital; Krisda Janjamras, 18, admitted to Rama Thibodi Hospital; and Ukrit Photia, 17, admitted to Rama Thibodi Hospital….

Rajavithi Hospital announced on Tuesday that a 20-year-old man was brought to the hospital by a Ruam Katanyu Foundation ambulance on Monday night. He did not have any identification documents on him.

According to the announcement, the young man was not breathing on arrival at the hospital. There was a bullet wound in the left side of his neck. Doctors performed emergency CPR and after about six minutes he started showing vital signs again.

A computerised brain x-ray showed a bullet lodged in the man’s brain stem. The first and second neck vertebrae were fractured.

As of 9.40am on Tuesday, he was still in a coma and on a ventilator. His vital signs were steady.

Unconfirmed social media reports are that the police have now admitted to the use of live ammunition. We’ll update later.

Update 1: The Bangkok Post now reports that “[f]orensic police were to inspect the scene where the protester was shot yesterday. No experts so far have been able to establish where the shot that injured the protester came from.” Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Pol Lt Gen Pakkapong Pongpetra said: “Live ammunition was fired [at the protester] but it did not come from police…”. This suggests that the social media accounts remain unconfirmed.

Update 2: Another Bangkok Post report tells readers that the boy in a coma is indeed just 15. He remains in a critical condition.

Update 2: Police now say they are investigating the shootings.


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