About 70 pro-democracy protesters, including minors, were taken to the Region 1 Border Police Bureau this morning, March 28th, after crowd control police dispersed pro-reform protesters who had staged what they called the “Thalufah Village” overnight protest outside Government House for weeks.
The crackdown began around 6:00 A.M. today. A group of crowd control police then reportedly asked the camped-out protesters to return the space in front of the Government House within three minutes.
The Thalufah Village had been running a protest since March 14th to demand the release of detained pro-democracy leaders, the abolishment of Section 112, and the resignation of Prayut Chan-O’Cha. They insisted that they would stage the protest until the Prime Minister resigned.
According to Thalufah’s official account, approximately 70 people, six of them were minors, were detained in a police truck to the Region 1 Border Police Bureau. Lawyers were reportedly not allowed to visit their clients at the moment.
Deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) commissioner Piya Tawichai announced at a press conference at 10:50 A.M. that the assembly was illegal under the Emergency Decree to prevent the Covid-19 Coronavirus and that the gathering was not following Covid-19 related rules and precautions.
There was also an alleged invasion of public places and some government offices; stealing of property, electricity, and water; destruction of government and people’s belongings; connecting sewage pipes into canals and public places without permission, and causing littering in the area, according to the commissioner.
Moreover, police also reported they. allegedly discovered a number of marijuana, sex toys, and condoms at the scene. The investigation officers are now examining and collecting more evidence to find the perpetrators.
“An announcement of the dispersal today was made as many people were having trouble traveling in the area and the gathering was at risk of the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus. The police gave them some time to leave but only 4 or 5 people agreed to do so, so the crackdown was necessary to keep the area unoccupied according to the law,” Piya concluded.
Pro-democracy groups online have already criticized the dispersal.
Photo Courtesy: Thalufah
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