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Detained protesters in Bangkok get bail

Detained protesters in Bangkok get bail

Twenty-three out of 25 protesters detained following a clash with riot police on Friday have been released on bail while the two remaining demonstrators are expected to be freed later today.

Twenty-three out of 25 protesters detained following a clash with riot police on Friday have been released on bail while the two remaining demonstrators are expected to be freed later today.

The 25 demonstrators were taken to the Thung Song Hong police station after a clash with police on Friday morning near Democracy Monument in Bangkok.

The clash erupted as the group calling itself “Citizens Stop Apec 2022” attempted to begin a march from Lan Khon Muang — the public ground and designated protest site outside City Hall — to the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, where the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit was behind held seven kilometres away.

As tensions escalated, riot-control police fired rubber bullets to prevent demonstrators moving from Din So Road near Democracy Monument and made some arrests. More demonstrators were subsequently arrested and the number rose to 25.

About 100 protesters began gathering in front of Thung Song Hong police around 4pm on Friday, shouting “Free our friends” and demanding the release of their detained colleagues. Police closed the gate of the compound and lined up inside.

After several hours of questioning and detention, investigators agreed to release the 25 detained protesters on a surety of 20,000 baht each.

A half past midnight, 23 demonstrators were released after their paperwork was completed. A condition of their bail is that they must not take part in any political rallies. They were also prohibited from persuading other people to gather illegally or doing anything that would cause social unrest.

The remaining two detained protesters are expected to be released today.

Anti-government activist Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakitvibulpon, a leading member of the protest group, strongly criticised police for using rubber bullets to disperse protesters, saying it was unacceptable. The use of violence against people led to casualties with some people sustaining serious injuries, she said.

Ten people suffered minor injuries in the Friday afternoon clash, according to the Erawan Medical Centre. One demonstrator was reported to have suffered a serious eye injury. Five police officers were hurt in clashes with demonstrators, some of whom were seen throwing smoke bombs and other objects.

Police have come under fire for their response, most notably for roughing up a journalist who was wearing a Press armband, and shoving an elderly monk into a wall, video of which has gone viral.

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