11 July 2024

The executive subcommittee of Thailand’s Medical Council issued a statement on Monday voicing opposition to violation of the law and the use of provocative acts and excessive force by all sides in the current political conflict.

The subcommittee, chaired by Professor Dr. Somsri Paosawat, the chair of the Medical Council, also urged all sides to have mutual respect for one another, to exercise restraint and not to cause any harm or damage to medical personnel, volunteers or medical equipment, such as ambulances.

The panel’s statement comes after the protest, by the Ratsadon group, in front of the Supreme Court on Saturday night, which resulted in injuries to 23 police officers and a medical volunteer and the arrest of eight protesters.

The Federation of Medical Students later issued a statement, demanding that the police address the allegation that a medical volunteer was assaulted by officers and to punish any police officer found to have been involved. The allegation of police violence against the medical volunteer, and a picture of the volunteer lying on the floor among the police, went viral on social media, provoking condemnation of alleged police violence.

The police have, however, categorically denied that they used teargas or water cannon against the protesters, also maintaining that they did not attack the medical volunteer and have questioned his volunteer status.

In the statement, the Medical Council’s executive subcommittee also urged all agencies involved in providing voluntary medical services to arrange for a proper system, whereby all volunteers are issued with a tag or symbol indicating their status as volunteers.

The panel thanked all the volunteers for their selfless dedication.