Family vows legal action after activist blinded in one eye by alleged police action
Pro-democracy activist Thanat Thanakitamnuay has lost vision in the right eye from alleged action by crowd control police at the anti-government rally on August 13, his family posted on Facebook on Thursday.
The family said that Thanat had participated in the rally at Victory Monument and the Din Daeng junction in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district and was injured by a cylindrical object allegedly fired by crowd control police.
The police were pushing back the protesters as they tried to march to Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha's house on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road to demand his resignation.
“Thanat suffered a serious injury on his right eyebrow and eye socket, which caused a tear in his cornea and ophthalmorrhexis [rupture of the eyeball],” the family said.
“He had undergone a surgery and is now stable. The doctor said he would need further treatment for at least six months, but his right eye will no longer be usable.
“Thanat was exercising his constitutional right by participating in a peaceful protest without any weapon, while the crowd control police were violating international practices in crowd control by firing tear gas cannisters directly at the protesters instead of using parabolic trajectory,” added the family.
“We have, therefore, decided to pursue legal actions, both civil and criminal, against related people or agencies to the fullest extent of the law. The Thanakitamnuay family has no intention of using Thanat’s injury for political benefit of any people or parties in any form,” they added.