Conflicts & War

Teen shot at Bangkok anti-government protest dies

Bangkok, Oct 29 (EFE).- A 15-year-old shot during an anti-government protest in Bangkok has died after spending more than two months in a coma, Amnesty International reported.

The boy died on Thursday, Amnesty said, at a hospital in the Thai capital where he had been admitted in mid-August with a bullet lodged in his brainstem.

“Today (28 October 2021) Nipaporn Somnoi, the mother of Warit Somnoi, a 15-year-old boy who was shot at Din Daeng (Junction), reported that Warit has died after suffering the injuries for more than two months,” it said in a statement.

Warit was shot on Aug. 16 during a demonstration that turned violent near a police station in the neighborhood of Din Daeng.

Across social media on Friday, citizens expressed outrage and sadness, using the hashtags #Warit and #WaritMustNotDieInVain.

Opposition politician Rangsiman Rome, who has verbalized his support for the protests that began in early 2020 by university students demanding democratic reform, also took to Twitter.

“Why do those who fight for a better life for their generation have to die? What kind of regime can destroy the future of the nation so cruelly?” wrote the lawmaker.

Police, who deny using live ammunition to disperse the crowds but admit the use of tear gas and rubber bullets, have opened an investigation, including analysis of the bullet.

The authorities have arrested a suspect, who denies the allegations.

Amnesty called for Thai authorities to meet international standards in their investigations.

After being interrupted by a surge in Covid-19 cases in the capital, the organizers of the protests intend to restart their pro-democracy movement with new demonstrations from Sunday.

The protests began last year to demand the resignation of the Thai prime minister, the drafting of a new constitution, as the current charter was written by the defunct military junta, and a reduction of the power of the military.

However, the boldest demand has been a reform of the monarchy and the amendment of the lese majeste law, which imposes penalties of between three and 15 years in prison for those deemed to have insulted or denigrated members of the royal family.

Some 150 people, including the main student leaders, have been accused by the authorities of violating this law, criticized by the United Nations for being excessively harsh, due to their activities during the protests, according to the NGO Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. EFE


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