Protester loses eye, wealthy family promises all-out legal action

Protester loses eye, wealthy family promises all-out legal action

Tanat Thanakitamnuay. Picture posted on the Nat Thanakitamnuay Facebook account on Aug 4.
Tanat Thanakitamnuay. Picture posted on the Nat Thanakitamnuay Facebook account on Aug 4.

The wealthy family of a protester who was injured and lost his sight in one eye during a demonstration has vowed all-out legal action against the crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Tanat Thanakitamnuay, a 29-year-old known as "Hi-so Luk Nat", was hurt during a protest in Bangkok on Aug 13.

The Thanakitamnuay family on Thursday night announced on Mr Tanat's Facebook account that he sustained a semicircular cut to his right eyebrow, apparently caused by the impact of a blunt cylindrical object.

His right cornea was torn, his right eyeball was ruptured and his right retina peeled off. Doctors concluded that he had lost sight in his right eye permanently.

The family said the injury was incurred during the protest on Aug 13. It blamed the disability on the crackdown on protesters and said authorities had failed to follow the international practice of firing tear gas in a ballistic trajectory.

The family wrote that Mr Tanat had always adhered to peaceful demonstrations, intended only to express his opinions and avoided any act that could lead to violence or damage. The demonstration on Aug 13 was not violent enough to justify the authorities' violent response.

The Thanakitamnuay family would take all possible criminal, civil and other legal action against individuals and organisations considered as being responsible, it said.

It said the injury to Mr Tanat was a great loss to the family.

Mr Tanat wrote later on his Facebook account that he would continue to fight for his rights and that protesters should continue to adhere to peaceful action.

Mr Tanat is a former member of the Democrat Party and took part in Suthep Thaugsuban's  "Bangkok Shutdown" street campaign. He resigned his membership when it  joined the coalition government formed by the Palang Pracharath Party after the general election in 2019.

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