February 19, 2014 00:00 By THE NATION 5,341 Viewed
SOMKIAT PONGPAIBOON, a co-leader of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), said a team of unidentified, highly-skilled men dressed in black rescued him yesterday from a police truck in which he was detained.
The protest leader had been arrested during a police operation to reclaim the Phan Fah Lilat Bridge area from protesters yesterday. Somkiat said he was standing on the bridge when police approached and tied his wrists behind his back after realising that he was protest leader. He was then escorted to a police truck for detention parked near the King Rama 3 Memorial Park.
Somkiat said that as he did not put up any resistance, police freed his arms after he was locked in the truck for about 45 minutes after a clash erupted outside.
Later, while the police were making a retreat, an unidentified man opened the truck’s door and four other men in black escorted him to the Thai Airways’ headquarters on Larn Luang Road, he said.
He said one of his rescuers had sustained a gunshot wound to his leg. The protest leader said the five men’s had not covered their faces. He didn’t think they were police but said they seemed skilled at their job.
Meanwhile, police managed to reclaim the protest site outside the Energy Ministry occupied by some 80 PDRC protesters led by Rawee Maschamadol.
The protesters surrendered without resisting and were escorted to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 in Pathum Thani’s Klong Luang district.
They were later visited by PDRC lawyer Samnuan Prapin, who said the move to disperse protesters was illegal because the Civil Court had earlier issued an injunction against the government’s imposition of the emergency decree.
The court is due to announce its verdict today on whether the imposition of the emergency decree is lawful. However, the authorities ignored this and hastily dispersed the protesters, he said.
The lawyer said PDRC co-leader Thaworn Senneam would file a petition with the court to report that the government had violated the court’s injunction order and would call on the court to issue another injunction to protect protesters.