At least 22 people were arrested in Bangkok on Sunday night following violent confrontations between pro-democracy demonstrators and state security officials, a human rights group said.
Pro-democracy protests led by a group known as Free Youth rallied in downtown Bangkok on Sunday where they were due to march from Victory Monument to an army base on Viphawadee Rangsit Road.
The protesters were blocked off by containers and barbed wire before reaching the army base. As they began to remove the obstacles, they were surrounded by state security forces. Agitated, the protesters pelted the officials with rocks and firecrackers resulting in a violent confrontation and the use of rubber bullets, water cannons, and batons.
Despite promising to stay non-violent, a section of protest guards threw firecrackers and masonry at the police causing them to retaliate with water cannons. #whatshappeninginmyanmar #ม็อบ28กุมภา #28กุมภาบุกรังขี้ข้าปรสิต #WhatsHappeningInThailand pic.twitter.com/0LkZnSykvR— Thai Enquirer (@ThaiEnquirer) February 28, 2021
Rights group, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, say that as a result of the clashes, 22 protesters were arrested during Sunday’s rally. Four of those arrested were minors with the youngest being only 15 years old.
22.50น. @TLHR2014 ได้รับแจ้งจากสายชล(นามสมมติ)ยช.อายุ16ปีว่าถูกจับกุมอยู่ในรถขัง ขณะนี้รถจอดอยู่ที่หน้ากรมทหารราบที่1 มีผู้ถูกจับกุมรวม19คน เป็นชายทั้งหมด โดยเป็นเยาวชนอายุ16ปี 2คน ตร.ไม่ได้แจ้งว่าจะนำตัวไปที่ไหน— TLHR / ศูนย์ทนายความเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชน (@TLHR2014) February 28, 2021
Those arrested and injured were sent to a local hospital while the uninjured were jailed and awaiting charges and a pre-trial hearing.
The violent confrontation between the protesters and the police have resulted in a night of soul-searching and discussion among supporters of the pro-democracy forces about the need to curtail violence among protesters and the direction which the protests are going.