Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand condemns shooting of reporters at Bangkok protest

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The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand has issued a statement condemning the shooting of reporters at an anti-government protest in Bangkok at the weekend. Saturday night’s protest, around the Sanam Luang area of the capital, ended with at least 33 people injured, including 3 reporters.

The statement referred to United Nations guidelines that say rubber bullets should only ever be a last resort and should always be aimed at the lower body and never the head. It’s understood one of the reporters working at the protest had to be hospitalised for a head scan after he was allegedly hit in the head by a rubber bullet.

According to a Nation Thailand report, the FCCT has expressed concern over tactics employed by police on the night, including the use of tear gas, water cannon, and rubber bullets. The club has also called on the authorities to acknowledge that reporters doing their job should not become police targets.

The FCCT statement follows a joint statement from 6 Thai media associations, in which they urged authorities to respect the right of citizens to peacefully protest under a democratic system, without the threat of force. The statement also calls on police to refrain from violence and instead inform protesters and reporters in advance of the dispersal tactics they plan to use. It says the authorities need to review their crowd-control procedures and should never resort to using force against working reporters.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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