22 detained after night of violence in Bangkok

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.

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.

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.

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