Three reporters were shot with rubber bullets during Sunday’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
Thai Enquirer reporters and eyewitnesses reported that police indiscriminately used tear gas and rubber bullets to remove pro-democracy protesters from the area.
The clashed continued late into the night as security officials chased protesters into Bangkok’s old town with bystanders and reporters also being shot and handled by officers.
The reporters shot were from the outlets Prachathai, Khaosod, and Channel 8.
Sarayut Tangprasert, a reporter from Prachathai, told the Thai Enquirer that at around 9 pm he was near the junction of Khaosan road and the Khok Wua intersection, and thought that clashes had already ended.
“There were a group of protesters that were yelling at the riot police. At first there were not many riot police and I decided to start the live stream for Prachathai. A little after I started someone threw a water bottle at the police, and that was when the police started moving in”.
Sarayut was in between the police and the protesters live streaming to cover both sides.
“Because the protesters were on motor bikes they were able to get away. And there were tourists in the area who were wondering what was going on”.
In Sarayut’s live stream, riot police are seen moving in and shooting down the road.
When asked, Sarayut said the police gave no warning before using rubber bullets.
Sarayut was hit twice, once in his backpack and the other on his back.
The Khaosod journalist Thanyalak Wannakote was grazed on the left thigh.
When asked whether he felt he was targeted Sarayut said, “They were just shooting indiscriminately. Even with in an area with tourists drinking. Even if it did not hit me, it would hit some one behind me. I do not understand why they were shooting”.
“I had my helmet with “Press” printed on both sides, I had the press arm band given out by the Press Association, and had my press card in front of me. If you are not blind or have any eye sight problems, you can identify that I am press”.
Link to Prachathai live stream: https://www.facebook.com/Prachatai/videos/273158037605499
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