Cop aimed gun at Thai reporter shut down by PM for asking questions

Two days before a Thai reporter was attacked in personal terms by a prime minister deflecting uncomfortable questions, she had a gun pointed at her by a police officer while doing her job.

As riot police were forcibly dispersing a Sunday rally near the Government House, one officer raised a weapon and pointed it at reporter Kamonthip Aungsakularporn after ordering her to stop filming.

“Don’t take a photo! No more recording,” the cop, who aimed his rifle equipped with nonlethal rounds at her, shouted back in footage Kamonthip had posted to her Twitter account. She can be heard asking the officer why she cannot record images, and why they are wielding weapons at a peaceful gathering.

On Tuesday she deleted her account from Twitter after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha attacked her over how she was sitting during a news conference in response to her questions about Thailand forcing Myanmar refugees fleeing air strikes on their homes back across the border.

Prayuth interrupted the news conference to order her to uncross her legs – an anachronistic remnant of traditional displays of obsequiousness. Within hours, the Government House revoked her access to the building, effectively preventing her from doing her job as a reporter.

Instead of the national press corps rallying to Kamonthip’s support, an executive at the Thai Journalists Association condemned her “lack of respect toward her seniors.”

Reached for comment today, Kamonthip declined a request to be interviewed.

Police brass have defended their escalating use of force and violence against peaceful campaigners as consistent with international norms despite regularly contravening them.


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