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Possible charges for parents of vandals may be coming, police silent on use of rubber bullets/tear gas



PHOTO: Nicole Elisei/Twitter

Police are contemplating pursuing legal action against the parents of young protesters that allegedly vandalised public property while attending the recent pro-democracy protests in Bangkok. The police kept silent on their use of rubber bullets and tear gas.

Piya Tavichai, the Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner, announced at a press briefing today that multiple suspected vandals are teenagers that have been arrested for similar offences in the past. Thus, the police are now mulling whether to file criminal charges against the suspected vandals’ parents as the police see it as a failure on the parents part by not “restraining their children”. This “failure” is in accordance with the “child protection law”.

13 protesters are currently in police custody after the turbulent protest at the Din Daeng intersection/Victory Monument.

Piya did not comment on the continual use of tear gas and rubber bullets. However, these “non-lethal” crowd control measures are far from innocuous irritations. Tear gas, a chemical irritant can kill tissue in the airway and digestive system, fill the lungs with excess fluid, and can cause internal bleeding. Rubber bullets can lead to fractures and internal organ damage that can lead to permanent injury or death.

The police did not comment if they were also looking for the people who littered shell casings.

Shell casing

PHOTO: May Wong/Twitter

Amnesty International has previously condemned Thailand’s “crowd control measures”, calling the methods “illegal, unnecessary and disproportionate, in violation of international human rights law and standards”. Further, AI says innocent bystanders have also been hurt when such “methods” have been used, but the bystanders have also suffered when they were beaten.

In the past, Bangkok police have denied using tear gas on crowds. Yesterday, a lawsuit from the press that sought to prevent police from using rubber bullets was rejected. The courts had immediately dismissed the charges against individual officers because they are protected under a “qualified immunity style law” and shot down an injunction against police using ‘force” in protests.

There has been no recent news on whether the police have apprehended the individual or individuals that defaced the Royal Thai Police Office sign.

SOURCE: Thai PBS National Geographic


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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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