Nearly 6,000 riot police would be deployed at a pro-democracy demonstration staged near the Grand Palace tomorrow, August 7th, officials from the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) revealed today, August 6th.
MPB deputy commissioner Piya Tawichai stated at a press briefing that about 5,700 police officials from 38 troops will be prepared to maintain peace and order at a major planned protest tomorrow, led by Free Youth and the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration. About 14 checkpoints will be set up around the protest sites to observe the situation and prevent chaos and violent behaviors.
The Free Youth pro-democracy group had announced another rally on Sunday following a harsh confrontation between officials and remaining protesters after a car protest was called off on August 1st. Many protesters and innocents were reportedly injured during the dispersal for hours, according to their statement.
Piya also stated that there were several confrontations between both parties in previous protests as some protesters were often found to carry artificial weapons and act violently in the rallies.
However, all police officials being deployed at the protest were trained to use all equipment and prevent escalating situations to ensure safety for officials, the press, and the public under the international standard, according to Piya.
Participants were being reminded that any gatherings in Bangkok were still considered illegal under the implementation of the Emergency Decree. They could face legal actions by participating in the protest tomorrow. Additionally, if any prominent protest leaders who were wanted under an arrest warrant were discovered at the protest site, they would immediately be arrested for legal proceedings, the deputy commissioner stressed.
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Thailand also announced that they are also going to inspect the protest on Saturday, following the requests of pro-democracy movements who claimed that they were threatened by state officials while they acted accordingly to basic human rights of the freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
The NHRC reaffirmed that its role in observing and monitoring tomorrow’s protests will be done objectively and fairly based on human rights principles and are willing to listen to facts from all parties.
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