Human Rights Watch urges govt protection for protesters

BANGKOK, Jan 21 – The Thai government and police cannot stay put and deny responsibility in light of escalating violence at anti-government rallies, according to Human Rights Watch.

Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher on Thailand at Human Rights Watch, urged the government to provide security to protesters without bias and that police should urgently investigate a series of attacks against demonstrations which resulted in deaths and injuries.

He said the government, police and protesters should coordinate and trust each other in mapping safety measures at rally sites.

Mr Sunai met protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban yesterday during his observation at the Pathumwan rally site of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

He said attacks are currently not limited to nighttime and violence at rallies has been reported since late last year but police have not made progress in their investigation.

The Thai authorities have made no arrests of perpetrators of violence since the demonstrations by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee until now, he said, indicating that the situation should improve if police gain trust from the public.