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Thai Police Chief Calls Riot Tactics Against Anti-Gov’t Demonstrators ‘Lawful’

Thailand Anti-Government Protests Students Tear Gas Rubber Bullets Water Cannons Protestors

The Royal Thai Police commissioner claimed its hardline, riot-control tactics against now-daily anti-government protests was “lawful” and in accordance with the international standard.

Pol. Gen. Suwat Chaengyodsuk responded Sunda to criticism of the barrage of rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas directed at protestors, many of the young college or high school students.

He asserted police have repeatedly warned protestors before using violent methods, which he claimed followed international standards of riot suppression.

Of course, none of the protests began as riots and only escalated once police tried to stop demonstrators from practicing free speech and assembly.

Suwat also said that each time a protest has been held, it has been hard to prevent conflict. He said that no police officers wanted to see anyone get hurt, but they had to “maintain peace and order”.

Police even reminded demonstrators about the risks they were creating about spreading the coronavirus, to no avail.

He added that the police are sometimes required to combine with other forces, such as the military, to work together in riot control. It might, however, cause inconvenience for residents in the area of the protest.

Meanwhile, for the safety of news media personnel, police will be more careful and mindful of their presence.

Reporters and photographers will be stationed in a safe area where they are not likely to obstruct the riot-control forces. However, if members of the media happen to be near the conflict area, they may be accidentally hurt.