As the APEC summit in Bangkok continues, there were scenes of melee outside the meeting venue as riot police shot rubber bullets at protesters this morning.
At around 10:15am, riot police clashed with protesters near the capital’s Democracy Monument as they tried to march across town to the APEC summit’s main venue, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. They dispersed the crowd with batons and rubber bullets.
At least six activists have been arrested as of noon today.
A citizen journalist, identified as Waranyu “Book” Khongsathittham of The Isaan Record, was allegedly assaulted by riot police and arrested during the protest. Hathairat Phaholtap, editor of The Isaan Record, published a statement demanding the release of Waranyu.
“The Isaan Record editorial team urges the police to stop using violence against the media who report on the protests and we demand the release of Waranyu as soon as possible,” reads the statement, which was issued on Friday.
Another Thai media, The Matter, announced that its reporter was hit by a baton and kicked by riot police near the Democracy Monument. It published a statement on Friday afternoon to denounce police brutality.
Chalinee Thirasupa, a freelance photojournalist, had been injured in the right eye. It’s not immediately clear what caused her injury.
Two youth-led anti-government groups, Thalufah and Ratsadon, announced earlier this week that they would gather at the Lan Khon Muang square near City Hall to carry out a protest against the APEC summit. The rally, dubbed “Stop APEC 2022”, is aimed at calling out the military-backed government and its prime minister, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, for hosting a summit that protesters say fails to represent the voices of the people.