By Thai Newsroom Reporters
LEGAL ACTION MAY BE taken against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who was held accountable for yesterday’s use of force by policemen against anti-Apec demonstrators, according to a noted academic.
Thammasat University law lecturer Prinya Thaewanarumitkul today (Nov.19) posted on his Facebook page to say legal action may be taken against the premier who is concurrently in charge of the National Police Office for the allegedly unlawful quelling of the street protesters by the crowd-control policemen.
Prinya said he suspected Prayut may have been involved in or even have ordered for the police use of force against the peaceful demonstrators, led by the so-called Ratsadorn Stop Apec 2022 activist group.
The Thammasat academic said the police could not have excused that they were literally keeping the street protesters a distance from the Apec attendees for whom they may have been assigned to provide security, given the fact that the demonstrators were quelled and dispersed in Rajdamnoen Avenue area nearly 10 kilometres from Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, the venue of the Apec meetings.
The crowd-control policemen who fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators injuring a number of them and arrested dozens of others reportedly cited the Public Gathering Act whilst literally stopping them from proceeding.
Under the internationally-recognised principles of crowd control measures, the police may only aim their gunfire at a lower part of a protester’s body and not at the torso or head, Prinya said. But in reality, he said, the police mostly shot their rubber bullets at the upper part of the body.
Importantly, Prinya said, the policemen were not legally allowed to have done so without a court order provided under the Public Gathering Act.
Court orders for such crowd-control police missions may not have been needed under emergency rule which had been waived since October 1, he said.
Top and Front Page: Scenes of police using force against anti-Apec protesters yesterday.
First below: Reuters photographer Ms. Chalinee Thirasupa, or Jane, who was hit on the face with a broken glass ball tweeted that an ophthalmologist had checked it and told her just the white part of the eye had been injured and she was safe but had to take a week off work to recover.
Second below: Phayu Daodin, a protester who was hit in the eye with a rubber bullet yesterday, said an eye surgeon who operated on it told him that the entire eyeball had been hit and the chances of him regaining sight in this eye was less than 1%. All photos: Matichon