Police Major General Piya Tawichai, the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, today announced three major legal charges against a group of pro-democracy demonstrators who were gathered at the Democracy Monument yesterday.
A massive crowd of pro-democracy protesters had gathered again on Saturday at Ratchadamnoen Avenue under the name “Mob Fest”, featuring a festive atmosphere of food, music, encouraging speeches from Thai social and cultural activists and symbolic performances.
One of the most highly symbolic movements occurred in the evening when a group of demonstrators had scaled the Bangkok Monument to tie a huge white banner around the monument scribbled with slogans and protesters’ hopes and wishes for their country.
Read the coverage of the “Mob Fest” rally organized by three pro-democracy groups HERE
According to the Police Major General, the three charges are as follows:
- Physical assaults against two police officers who were allegedly injured from being hit with a flag pole and a solid object on their head and face; Fighting and obstructing officials who were performing their duties; Performing social gathering with more than 10 people and causing chaos in the country under Section 215. Both injured police officers already filed legal complaints against the protesters at Samranrat Police Station.
- Destroying and damaging the Democracy Monument which is an archaeological site under the authorities of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the Fine Arts Department. The act of climbing and covering it up with a giant cloth reportedly violated the Archaeological Site Act and the Cleanliness and Orderliness Act. The damage is now under a thorough investigation by the authorities who will later file a complaint at Samranrat Police Station.
- Other offenses, such as traffic obstruction, mass assembly act, Covid-19 control measures and violations of the Cleanliness Act of which the pro-democracy protesters reportedly refused to cooperate although the officers had notified the conditions beforehand.
The Deputy Commissioner concluded that the police are now in the process of investigation and identifying the alleged perpetrators. However, the Deputy Commissioner added, the protest organizers who managed the public gatherings yesterday are also legally responsible for the charges as it is a police’s duty to control and maintain peace and keep them weaponless throughout the protest.
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