16-year-old protester speaks out about arrest

During the protest at the 1st Infantry Regiment headquarters, 23 people were arrested, 4 of whom were minors. They were charged with violating the Emergency Decree and the Communicable Diseases Act, and resisting arrest, among other charges, and were reportedly assaulted during the arrest.

Sainam

Sainam, 16, was arrested at the Shell gas station opposite the 1st Infantry Regiment, and was also assaulted.

Sainam said that he arrived at around 21.00 and was trying to get to the protest side from the Din Daeng side, but the road was blocked by riot control police, so he tried to get through to the other side by catching a ride with another protester. When he got to the Veterans General Hospital, the riot control police were already trying to take control of the area, so he crossed over to the gas station.

He said he doesn’t know why the riot police were using rubber bullets and assaulting protesters, and that there were many people gathered at the gas station, including volunteer medics and injured people. He also said that the protesters were not obstructing the roadway as they were all on the footpath.

Sainam said that he was shot by a rubber bullet as he was helping another protester up, and that the riot police then pushed him to the ground, kicked him, and beat him with batons.

“A while after that, they held onto me and tied my arms up behind my back, and then they kicked me a bit more, and then they asked me ‘Why did you hurt my friends? Why did you hurt my friends?’ I said I didn’t do anything, because I just got there, but they didn’t care, and they continued to stamp on me and repeatedly asked me ‘Where are your friends?’ Sainam said.

Sainam said that a plainclothes police officer who knew him came by after that, and told the riot police to back down. Sainam was then carried off to another location. He was held to the ground and searched.

He said that he was being held along with a few other protesters by the Veterans General Hospital, and that he saw the other protesters beaten and all were tied up. He also said that everyone who was being held with him was assaulted.

Sainam and three other minors were then taken to Sutthisan Police Station, while 18 others were taken to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters. He was charged with assaulting an officer, joining an assembly, and violating the Emergency Decree. Everyone was later released on bail.  

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