Anti-gov’t protester hit by tear gas canister confirms he is blind in one eye

An artwork dedicated to Tanat Thanakitamnuay by illustrator Kai Maew Cheese, at left, and a file photo of Tanat. Photos: Kai Maew Cheese and Tanat Thanakitamnuay
An artwork dedicated to Tanat Thanakitamnuay by illustrator Kai Maew Cheese, at left, and a file photo of Tanat. Photos: Kai Maew Cheese and Tanat Thanakitamnuay

The anti-government protester who was hit by a tear gas canister in the eye last week has partially lost his sight.

Tanat “Nat” Thanakitamnuay was confirmed to have gone blind permanently in his right eye after he was shot with a tear gas canister by riot police during last Friday’s “Car Mob” rally, a demonstration that sees convoys of vehicles calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. He and his family vowed to sue the authorities and hold them accountable over the injury. 

Tanat, who is best known as a former royalist hardliner who has shifted side to join a pro-democracy movement, remained positive and said he would fight on in the movement. 

“My one eye is blind forever, but I’ve never seen anything this clearly in my entire life,” Nat wrote on Facebook last night. 


There are still many lives out there that are suffering. There are still many lives that are damaged more than mine,” Tanat added. “I’ll fight alongside everyone to call for justice. Please be strong and fight peacefully for the victory of the people. We cannot lose.”

Tanat also said that he and his family, who runs residential property firm Noble Development, will press charges against relevant authorities for their “excessive” and “unlawful” use of force. 

So far, nobody from the authority has come out to address the matter on Tanat.

Violence by riot police against anti-government protesters has intensified lately. Although the Metropolitan Police Bureau have insisted only using rubber bullets to disperse protesters, human rights group Amnesty International Thailand yesterday issued a statement suggesting that the bullet that was lodged in an injured boy’s skull was “believed to be live ammunition.” The group also demanded an urgent investigation into Monday’s shooting that left a 15-year-old teen protester in critical condition. 

Related

Human rights group demand investigation into police shooting of teen protesters

Thai police deny shooting protesters with live bullets after man shot in the neck

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