Activists: Justice system failing to protect people

Activists: Justice system failing to protect people

Wreath presented to Royal Thai Police

Black-clad activists hold signs attacking those who assault people with different political views, as they gather at the Royal Thai Police Office on Tuesday to present a wreath signifying the failure of the justice system.  (Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)
Black-clad activists hold signs attacking those who assault people with different political views, as they gather at the Royal Thai Police Office on Tuesday to present a wreath signifying the failure of the justice system. (Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)

Pro-democracy activists have presented a wreath signifying the failure of the justice system to the Royal Thai Police Office over the continuing attacks on political activists, with Sirawith “Ja New" Seritiwat the latest victim.

A small group of black-clad activists from the Democracy Restoration Group and the Students Federation of Thailand on Tuesday took part in the symbolic activity -- ‘’Mourning the Thai justice system for not protecting people with different views.’’  

Their show of dissent follows the growing incidence of physical assaults on political activists. The victims to date include Ekkachai Hongkanwan, Anurak Jentawanit, aka “Ford Red Route’’, and Sirawith, the latest victim, 

Sirawith, known as “Ja New’’, was savagely beaten by four men in the street near his house in Klong Sam Wa district on Friday. He remains in a serious condition in Ramathibodi Hospital with a fractured eye socket and other head injuries.

Activists carrying signs bearing protest messages, including "Stop threatening people. Stop attacking people holding different viewpoints", converged in front of the Royal Thai Police Office on Tuesday.

They later presented a wreath to the RTPO, which was accepted by Pol Col Assayut Nutphum, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Division 6, and demanded that those responsible for the assaults be brought quickly to justice.

Chonticha Jaeng-rew, of the Democracy Restoration Group, said there had been a total of 13 assaults on three activists – Ekkachai, Anurak and Sirawith - from January to June this year. Police had arrested  suspects in only two of the 13 cases. The assailants in the other 11 cases, and those who pulled their strings, remained at large, she said.

There was also no progress in the investigation of the disappearance of eight political asylum seekers, Sirachai Sae Dan and his aides, who were believed murdered, she said.

Ms Chonticha said activist Parit Chawarak had also received threats and been assaulted.

These assaults reflected the failure of the National Council for Peace and Order in allowing people in other political camps to attack the activists, and the failure of police and the country’s justice system to protect the lives of the people, she said.


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