By THE NATION
Protesters had gathered at the court to demand the release of four Ratsadon pro-democracy leaders – Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Arnon Nampa, Somyos Prueksakasemsuk and Patiwat “Bank” Saraiyam – who are charged with lese majeste and sedition.
Clashes during the protest saw 23 police officers hospitalised with non-severe injuries, mainly from bricks, small objects and so-called ping-pong bombs thrown at them.
Puraphol (19) and Jittakorn (23) (last names withheld), members of the DNA (Doctor and Nurse Associate) group, said they were attacked by baton-wielding riot police as they worked at the rally site.
“Crowd control police said they would give us 30 minutes to evacuate the site, but shortly after the announcement a group of police officers approached and beat me with batons until I was unconscious,” said Puraphol. A physical examination reportedly showed injuries to his back, right shoulder, right arm and ankle.
A representative of the DNA Group who was also at the scene said riot police kicked over the motorcycle Puraphol was sitting on before beating him with batons.
“Puraphol is neither a protester nor a troublemaker during rallies. He has been working with DNA for a long time, providing medical assistance to those who need it,” she said.
The two volunteers filed charges of physical assault and damaging personal property against the crowd control police at Chana Songkhram police station in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district.