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Photo journalists injured want riot cops probed

Photo journalists injured want riot cops probed

A representative of four photojournalists injured in a clash between riot police and anti-government protesters on Din So Road during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit filed a petition on day to probe allegations of police brutality.

Pongpiphat Banchanont, a senior editor of the online news outlet The Matter, filed a petition with the House Committee on Political Development, Mass Communications and Public Participation seeking a probe into the incident where riot-control police allegedly assaulted journalists on Nov 18.

Mr Pongpiphat said the civil court last year issued an order that police are required to take the safety of journalists into consideration while controlling riots during protests. However, he said, many people have thought the crowd-control measures carried out on that day by police were brutal.

He said that the petition pleads with the committee to investigate the cause of the violence and hold authorities accountable for their actions.

Moreover, it calls upon the national police chief, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, the commissioner of the Protection and Crowd Control Division, and officers who were in charge of riot-control police on Nov 18 to provide public accounts of what occurred.

Mr Pongpiphat also said that the petition demands police reveal documents concerning the use of rubber bullets and other defence equipment used for crowd control on that day.

“We want the police to be held to certain standards and be responsible. Some officers might have made mistakes but, at least, the organisation should be able to inspect its own internal affairs to improve police performance,” said Mr Pongpiphat.

The appeal was received by Nattacha Boonchaiinsawat, a Move Forward Party MP.

Four photojournalists from The Matter, Top News, Prachatai and Reuters were injured in the clash between the police and protesters.

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