Anti-government protesters arrested after five policemen injured in clashes

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Anti-government protesters arrested after five policemen injured in clashes

Anti-government protesters arrested after five policemen injured in clashes


Ten anti-government protesters were arrested on Friday morning after clashes with police officers guarding the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting site on Dinso Road in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district.

The clash left five police officers injured and several properties damaged, Pol Maj-General Archayon Kraithong, spokesman of the Joint Security and Traffic Operation Command Centre for the 2022 Apec Summit, said.

Archayon said about 350 protesters, who called themselves “Ratsadon Stop Apec 2022”, started gathering at Lan Khon Muang, an open space in front of the City Hall, early on Friday morning.

At around 9am, the protesters began marching towards the Apec 2022 meeting site at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, reportedly to submit a letter to international leaders attending the 2022 Apec Summit and to seek the ouster of Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

As the protesters were entering Dinso Road, police issued warnings that leaving Lan Khon Muang is a violation of security regulations being enforced for the Apec Summit. The protesters ignored the warnings and allegedly threw rocks and other objects at police officers and their vehicles, Archayon said.

He said the police officers had to use force to protect themselves from the attacks. The clashes ended with officials arresting 10 protesters for violating the security order issued by the Samran Rat Police Station since November 17, prohibiting marches or mobilisation of people. Under the order, violators face a maximum of one year’s imprisonment, or 20,000 baht fine, or both.

The police spokesman said officers have been instructed to use negotiations as a primary tactic to ensure mutual understanding with protesters and use force only when necessary. “Officers will use rubber bullets only to deter attacks by protesters or to stop those who are committing a flagrant offence,” Archayon said. “All police tactics are in compliance with the laws and aim to maintain public peace and safety.”

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