Future Forward MP has 'Ja New' attack clip

Future Forward MP has 'Ja New' attack clip

Rangsiman Rome posts video from CCTV online and informs police of evidence

A screenshot said to be from security camera in the area where anti-coup activist Sirawithy 'Ja New
A screenshot said to be from security camera in the area where anti-coup activist Sirawithy 'Ja New" Seritiwat was beaten up in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo from @rangsimanrome Facebook)

A Future Forward Party MP says he has obtained security footage showing four men violently attacking political activist Sirawith “Ja New” Seritiwat in Bangkok on Friday. Some of the video was posted online on Saturday.

Party-list MP Rangsiman Rome wrote on his Facebook page that he and two activists, Chavalit Laohadudomphan and Ton Phreera, had inspected the scene of the attack and spoken to vendors and motorcycle-taxi drivers in the area. They found the attack happened along the main road, not in front of Mr Sirawith’s house as reported earlier.

The attack took place in a busy area at the mouth of Ram Intra Soi 109 where people waited for public transport, wrote Mr Rangsiman.

The video clip posted online does not show the actual attack but does show two men on a motorbike, armed with batons and waiting at the mouth of the soi. When they see their target, they get off and run after him.

“I initially checked the area and found there were several closed-circuit television cameras. All CCTVs are functioning. Now Mr Chavalit and I have obtained the CCTV footage and talked with the Min Buri police chief, who promised to handle the case to the best of his ability,” said the first-time MP and anti-coup activist, who earlier joined Mr Sirawith in several demonstrations.

Mr Sirawith, 27, was brutally attacked on Friday for the second time in less than a month. His injuries included an orbital fracture, black eyes and a broken nose. He was admitted to the ICU of Navamin Hospital and was later transferred to Mission Hospital.

Due to the severity of the injuries, his mother told Thai media she feared he might never be the same again. 

The assault prompted the Campaign for Popular Democracy group to call on the government and the Royal Thai Police to better protect activists. Several politicians from different parties have also condemned the thuggery and called for action, but no one from the military-aligned Palang Pracharath Party has spoken out yet.

Mr Rangsiman wrote that Mr Sirawith’s attackers might have intended to kill him.

“Witnesses said there were four attackers. They were waiting in the area for a while before Ja New arrived. As soon as the activist showed up, the attackers ran toward him and began attacking him. The activist ran along the road for his own safety, but the men did not stop. They beat him until he fell down,” wrote Mr Rangsiman. “Some witnesses said the attackers focused on his head (suggesting they wanted to kill or disable him). The attackers stopped when people nearby shouted: ‘Police. Police’ and then fled."

Mr Sirawith is one of a handful of activists who have been singled out for their outspoken opposition to the military regime. But almost no one has been arrested for any of the assaults, including the earlier one on Mr Sirawith on June 2.

Ekachai Hongkangwan, who has made street theatre out of the watch scandal surrounding Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, has been physically attacked seven times since the start of last year. He says he has also received death threats.

According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, one culprit who assaulted the activist twice early last year was arrested and released after paying a fine. The other attacks remain unsolved.

Also unsolved are two attacks on anti-coup activist Anurak Jeantawanich this year.

Video clip features the attack on activist Ja New (white T-shirt). (Clip taken from @rangsimanrome Facebook page)

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