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20 arrested over clashes between pro-democracy protesters and police during Saturday's rally


Twenty people have been arrested after pro-democracy protesters and police clashed at Sanam Luang on Saturday night, Pol Maj-General Yingyot Thepjamnong, spokesman of the Royal Thai Police Office, said on Sunday.

The clash left 32 people injured, 12 of them police officers.

Read More: 32 people injured as pro-democracy protesters, police clash

Redem, or Restart Democracy group, gathered on Saturday at 6pm at Sanam Luang to urge the authorities to release leaders of the Ratsadon protest group who had been arrested earlier and charged with sedition, illegal gathering, and lese majeste.

At around 7pm protesters pulled down the top container of the wall erected by police in front of the King’s Palace, while police responded by spraying high-pressure water at the protesters.

At 7.35pm crowd control officers came out from behind the containers and took control of the situation, seizing the area and arresting some of the protesters.

At 8.50pm, protesters dispersed from Sanam Luang and retreated to Khok Wua intersection near Democracy Monument, where plant pots were set on fire, while several police vehicles were reportedly damaged.

“Police have arrested 20 protesters and charged them with illegal gathering in violation of the Communicable Disease Control Act, gathering of more than 10 people to stage an uprising in city areas, using a weapon against police officers and resisting arrest,” said Yingyot. “Police are also investigating possible violation of Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or lese majeste law, during Saturday's protest.”

Yingyot urged people who had information about unknown individuals who were seen throwing giant firecrackers into the protest area several times on Saturday night to contact the police so that officials could track them down.

“The tactics that police used on Saturday night were in compliance with international practices for crowd control, and officials issued warnings every time before implementing any measure,” added Yingyot.

Published : March 22, 2021

By : THE NATION