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Photographer beaten by ‘royalists’ near Democracy Monument

Pete

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A photographer called Nattaphon, who works for a media agency, is still waiting for justice after being allegedly attacked by a group of ultra royalists near the Democracy Monument last week. He suffered bruises on his back, neck and upper arms.

Just after he finished working and was packing up, he noticed a man wearing a long sleeve shirt and a ponytail approaching him. The unidentified man walked up to him and asked if he “had any problems” and “why was he looking at him”. He asked for his phone and questioned if he was a journalist, which he denied, before the man grabbed him by the arm.

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According to Nattaphon, they punched and kicked him when he refused to show them the photos. One of the group was carrying an extendable baton which was used to beat him. Nattaphon sprinted into the nearest McDonald’s for safety.

“I was lucky that I was wearing a helmet, or else I would be in worse shape.”

Benpakorn, a member of a group named Vocational Students Protecting the Thai Monarchy, admitted to being one of his offenders. He offered Nattaphon 5,000 baht to compensate for the assault. Nattaphon refused the offer and wanted to take the case to court.

“I’m consulting with a lawyer about what else I can do to bring the perpetrators to justice. It should not end only at the police station, but in the court with proper trials.”

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In a livestream on Sunday, Benpakorn admitted to beating Nattaphon. He alleged that he was defending himself when he attacked the photographer.

“He asked me why I looked at his face, and I replied ‘Why can’t I?’ I saw that he also had a waist bag that might carry a weapon, so I had to protect myself.”

The Thai Journalists Association said it was keeping an eye on the case because it was more than just a personal attack, and asked that those involved be prosecuted. The police say that they are aware of the attackers identities, but they have not been caught.

Watch the video of the attack HERE.

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SOURCE: Coconuts | The Standard

 

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