A 23-year-old protester is in intensive care after he was shot in the chest on Sunday during yet another protest in Bangkok that escalated into violence.
Protesters had gathered Sunday afternoon to speak out against last week’s ruling by Thailand’s Constitutional Court that equated calls to reform the monarchy to treason.
Initial plans called for a rally around Democracy Monument. That rally was moved to Pathumwan Intersection, where protestors clashed with police before marching to the German Embassy on Sathorn Road to submit a letter to the German ambassador, asking for international intervention to keep Thailand democratic.
After protestors reached the embassy, one read a statement and said the rally was to “raise voices” against the country’s monarchy.
At least three people were reportedly injured throughout the afternoon. One was injured by shrapnel from an explosive device and two others were believed to have been shot in front of the Police Hospital at around 4pm.
It is not immediately known if the bullets were rubber bullets or live rounds.
King Vajiralongkorn has frequented Germany over the years, and recently the German tabloid Bild photographed the Thai monarch at the Munich airport, where he is believed to be staying in a luxury hotel with his entourage.
On Sunday afternoon, police erected barricades on Rama 1 Road and the Lumphini Intersection to block the protest route.
There were several clashes as protestors instead marched down Henri Dunant Road. Some riot police were seen shooting rubber bullets at close distance.
One of the protest representatives, Thatchapong Kaedam, demanded that police be held accountable for the violence.
Col. Krissana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesperson of the Royal Thai Police, said police are investigating the incidents — an increasingly common refrain that has yielded few results.
Police brutality against anti-government protesters has become a regular occurrence, but Thai police have increasingly blamed the victims for the violence.
Earlier this year, a 15-year-old protester was shot in the back of his neck and later died from his injuries. A 28-year-old man named Chutipong Tidkratok was apprehended and charged with manslaughter in connection with the teen’s death and illegal possession of firearms. Chutipong has denied all charges.