Reporter alleges red shirt assault

A Channel 7 news reporter on Wednesday filed a police complaint against a group of red-shirt taxi drivers for allegedly assaulting him.

The complaint was filed by Tomchan Boonsai with Thammasala police station near Utthayan Road in Bangkok's Thawi Watthana district, where the red shirts are rallying to show support for the caretaker government.  

According to his complaint, the assault occurred in the early hours of Wednesday after Mr Tomchan’s editor assigned him to go to Thammasala police station after a group of red-shirt protesters made contact with Channel 7 to complain that they had not received payment from a broker who promised to pay them for taking part in the rally on Utthayan Road and would file complaints with police.

After arriving there at 2.45am, he took out his TV camera and recorded a group of about 20 taxi drivers who were standing in front of the station. The group then attacked him and punched him dozens of times and forced him to erase the footage of them from his camera.    

Mr Tomchan said although he agreed with their request, the attackers said he was too slow to act and “used force” to take the tape from his camera. “While I was removing the tape and giving it to them, they beat me all the time,” he said. 

Later a woman thought to be in the same group with the taxi drivers shouted at them, saying "Don't hurt the press". The group stopped assaulting him and left the scene with his tape. The woman took back the tape and gave it to him, according to Mr Tomchan. 

The assault left the reporter with bruises all over his body. He went to Thon Buri 2 Hospital for treatment and took a medical document to the police station in the morning to file a complaint. 

Mr Tomchan urged protesters not to attack media personnel, especially reporters working in the field. "They have no authority over which stories are released. This process is up to the station or news agency,” he said.

Share your thoughts

Back to top

More From Bangkokpost.com