Rights defenders file civil lawsuit demanding ฿3m compensation from police

A lawsuit was filed with the Civil Court today (Friday), against the Royal Thai Police and the national police chief, by nine human rights defenders who claim they were injured by the use of allegedly excessive force by the police to break up protesters in front of parliament on November 17th last year.

Representing the plaintiffs, former human rights commissioner Angkhana Nilapaichit said the group is seeking about three-million-baht compensation, for physical injuries and medical costs, from the two defendants. Pictures of the injuries and medical certificates were attached to the file submitted to the court as evidence.

She alleged that police deployed in front of parliament used high-powered water cannon to spray water at the protesters, before they started gathering at the appointed time and even before the police closed off traffic.

Chonthicha Jangrew, one of the protest leaders who was selected to negotiate with the police on that day, alleged that the police breached international standards regarding crowd control by resorting to the use of force against the protesters.

Amarin Saichan, of the Human Rights Lawyers Alliance, said he hopes this case will set a precedent for the police on how to handle protests in the future.

He also said that, in the lawsuit filed today, the plaintiffs are asking the court to issue clear guidelines for the police on how they should handle a peaceful protest.

A similar case was earlier filed with the Administrative Court, but it was dismissed. That case is now pending with the Supreme Administrative Court.



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