Ekkachai Hongkangwan, a well-known political activist, has been assaulted for the 7th time in front of the court.
A political activist, with bruises on his face, shows his right hand splinted at Paolo Hospital. Source: Ekkachai Hongkangwan's Facebook Page
Ekkachai Hongkangwan, a political activist, posted on Facebook at 9 am that he was assaulted by 4 men wearing motorcycle helmets in front of the Ratchada Criminal Court. His picture shows bruises on his face and injuries to his hand.
At 11.20 am, Ekkachai posted that he went to Paolo Hospital where his right arm was put in a splint as shown in another picture. He also said he had to pay 5,000 baht without getting reimbursed. Anurak Jeantawanich, his fellow activist, said Ekkachai arrived at Dr. Panya General Hospital, where he can access his healthcare coverage, at 3 p.m.
Nattaa Mahattana, Ekkachai’s fellow activist, said they went to the Court together after they had been charged over a campaign calling for elections in Thailand. Nattha said she saw Ekkachai hit right after he stepped down from the bus. She went to report the incident at Phaholyothin Police Station.
According to Siam Rath, Pol. Lt. Songkran Sisuk, Deputy Inspector of Phaholyothin Police Station, said he has received the report and started an investigation at the crime scene.
Anurak Jeantawanich, Ekkachai’s fellow activist, who earlier was also assaulted in his own house, posted on Facebook that a bone in Ekkachai’s right hand and his ninth rib were fractured. Several footprints were also found on Ekkachai’s white shirt.
His supporters campaigned on Facebook for donations in support of Ekkachai. But his political opponents ridiculed the assault by posting in the comments section of Ekkachai's Facebook page a money transfer slip showing a donation of 0.01 baht and asking if the activist arranged the assault himself in order to earn money.
Ekkachai's political opponents in the comment section of his Facebook page.
Rangsiman Rome, an MP of the Future Forward Party, posted on Facebook calling for the police to take serious action in order to prevent this from becoming a new normal.
This is the seventh time Ekkachai has been physically assaulted for opposing people in power, excluding two arson attacks on his car putting it beyond repair. In 2013, he was imprisoned for 2 years and 8 months for violating the lèse majesté law by selling CDs of an ABC documentary about the then Crown Prince and Wikileaks documents.