Anti-Junta Activist Ekachai Assaulted at Court

Ekachai Hongkangwan stages a one-man protest in front of Government House on May 1, 2018.

BANGKOK — Pro-democracy activist Ekachai Hongkangwan was once again assaulted Monday morning, this time in front of the Bangkok Criminal Court.

Ekachai reported from hospital that four men wearing motorcycle helmets abruptly assaulted him shortly after 8.30am. The activist suffered a fractured right hand and bruises on his face, which were visible in a selfie he posted on Facebook.​ He was told by the doctor to spend a night at the hospital tonight.

“There were many bystanders but they just watched, even the guard at the court,” said Ekachai. “It lasted for about two minutes until one of them said it was enough.”

This is the seventh such attack against Ekachai in recent years, including an incident in April where his car was torched. With the exception of a man convicted in 2018 of punching Ekachai, most of the attackers were never caught or prosecuted.

Ekachai is a former lese majeste prisoner known for his repeated protests against deputy junta leader Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan’s luxury watch scandal.

Early last month, Ekachai petitioned the Witness Protection Department to afford him protection while in public, but he said there has been no progress in the request.

“What I want most is security from the Department of Witness Protection,” stressed Ekachai.