BANGKOK, Feb 14 — The anti-government protests in Bangkok turned violent on Saturday night with a number of injuries and arrests reported.
Thai anti-government protesters returned to the streets in Bangkok on Saturday, where they gathered at the Democracy Monument following the recent detention of four protest leaders who were charged under Section 112 of the country’s Penal Code, also known as lèse-majesté for insulting the monarchy in demonstrations last year.
As night fell, the protesters marched to Sanam Luang, near Royal Palace. However, they were blocked by barbed wires and barricades.
Local media reported that several small bangs believed to be homemade explosive devices and firecracker were heard during a standoff. Red paint and bottles were thrown at police.
Thai Police Deputy Spokesman Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen said over 20 police officers were injured in the clashes.
“At least seven individuals were arrested for questioning,” he told the media here last night.
Earlier, the protesters gathered at the Democracy Monument calling the government to revoke Section 112. They draped the monument with a large red cloth that represented the blood of fighters of democracy.
Since mid-July, anti-government protesters have been rallying in Bangkok and other cities, reiterating their demands for political change, including for the prime minister to step down, the dissolution of Parliament, rewriting of the Constitution and monarchy reform.
However, the rally has slowed down in recent months following the fresh wave of COVID-29 outbreak in Thailand.
One of the protest leaders said another protest would be held at the Democracy Monument if their friends were not freed in seven days.