The Thai government and police cannot deny responsibility in light of escalating violence at anti-government rallies, Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher on Thailand at Human Rights Watch, said on Tuesday.
Sunai urged the government to provide security to protesters without bias and the police to urgently investigate a series of attacks against demonstrations, which have resulted in deaths and injuries. He added that the government, the police and protesters should coordinate and trust each other in mapping out safety measures at rally sites. Sunai met protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban on Monday while observing the Pathumwan rally site of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). He noted that attacks are currently not limited to night-time and that violence at rallies has been reported since late last year. However, the police have not made progress in their investigations. The Thai authorities have made no arrests of perpetrators of violence since the beginning of the demonstrations by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, he said, indicating that the situation could improve if police gained the trust of the public.