Media members ask for investigation after police allegedly injure photojournalists at APEC

Members of the media are asking Thailand’s House Committee to investigate police conduct after alleging that they were injured during a clash at the APEC summit. A representative of four photojournalists says they were injured in a clash between anti-government protesters and riot police at last week’s summit in Bangkok. The senior editor of online news outlet The Matter, Pongpiphat Banchanont, filed the petition with the House Committee on Political Development, Mass Communications and Public Participation.

According to Bangkok Post, riot-control police are under fire after accusations of police brutality against journalists allegedly occurred on November 18. Such allegations have spurred the Royal Thai Police to also open their investigation saying that any officers that are found to have used excessive force would be disciplined. Pongpiphat says the civil court issued an order last year requiring police to consider the safety of journalists when trying to control riots during such protests. But he says many feel that the crowd control behaviours of police on that day included unusual brutality.

The petition also calls for the national police chief, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau and the Crowd Control Division and participating officers to provide a public account of what occurred that day. Pongpiphat says the petition demands that police reveal documents that detail the use of rubber bullets and other equipment used.

“We want the police to be held to certain standards and be responsible. Some officers might have made mistakes but, at least, the organisation should be able to inspect its internal affairs to improve police performance.”

Four photojournalists were allegedly injured in the clash and represented the media outlets of The Matter, Prachatai, Reuters, and Top News. 10 protesters were also injured along with five police officers. 25 protesters were arrested and later released on bail in connection to the events on November 18.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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