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Injured protesters lodge complaints over police use of chemical-laced water

Four injured protesters lodged a complaint at Bang Po police station today, accusing the authorities of using harmful chemicals, mixed into the water sprayed at them from water cannons, during the protest in front of parliament on November 17th.

The four complaints are from some of the 10 anti-establishment protesters who have developed blisters, after exposure to the chemical-laced water.

Samples of the liquid sprayed on protesters by the police weresent to Associate Professor Dr. Veerachai Putthawong, a lecturer at the Chemistry Department of the Faculty of the Liberal Arts and Science of Kasetsart University for analysis. Tests revealed that the water contained five chemical compounds which are harmful to the body.

According to Dr. Veerachai, the chemical compounds cause serious irritation to the skin and eyes.

One of those injured, Surachet Chitcharoen, told the media today that he was sprayed at Kiak Kai intersection.  He said that he initially felt a burning sensation on his skin and blisters then started to appear on the limbs which were exposed to the chemicals.

Another of the injured, Charuwat Rachloha, a photographer for Thai PBS, who was at the scene of the protest, said today that he did not expect that the police would use water cannons against the protesters on that day.

He said that, initially, the police used plain water. Later, however, he said he could smell chemicals mixed into the water and that he was soaked in the liquid from about 2pm until almost midnight, when he went off duty. He says he felt a burning sensation on his skin, but it was the next morning when blisters appeared on his arms.

Charuwat saw a doctor at his office, who prescribed him someantihistamine medication, and his condition has improved over the past five days.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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