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Six activists have acknowledged the charges under the Public Assembly and Road Traffic acts after demanding police responsibility for the APEC protest crackdown that cost one activist an eye.

On 3 August 2023, six activists acknowledged charges based on summonses issued under the Public Assembly and Road Traffic acts arising from their participation in a gathering that sought justice for Payu, an activist from the Dao Din group, who was shot in the right eye with a rubber bullet by crowd control police in the APEC protest crackdown. The gathering took place on 23 November 2022 at the Odeon Circle, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR).

The police issued summonses on 17 July 2023 for 8 people to acknowledge charges related to participating in a public gathering that caused inconvenience in the use of a public place and conducting a procession after 18.00 hours without permission, as stipulated in the Public Assembly Act. The gathering also obstructed traffic in violation of the Road Traffic Act.

The summonses

The case report states that prior to the incident, Tanruthai, one of the accused activists, posted on Facebook about the gathering scheduled for 23 November 2022, demanding responsibility for Payu’s lost eye and the violence against the APEC protest.

Tanruthai and 10 others, photographers and YouTubers, gathered at the Odeon Circle, and were seen writing messages on banners. However, it was unclear who organized or led this gathering.

The case report also said that the police warned the protesters that the gathering broke the law, but they did not heed the warning. They walked along Yaowarat Road and then back to the Odeon Circle.

All six activists denied the charges. They will submit additional written testimony on 21 August 2023.

The TLHR pointed out that this incident took place over eight months ago, and the police have only recently issued summonses.

Payu Boonsophon, known as Payu Dao Din, lost the sight in his right eye after being shot with a rubber bullet in the APEC protest crackdown on 18 November 2022. The protest database and observation site Mob Data Thailand reported that at least 33 people were injured during the protest.

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