Shocking pics after horror street bashing
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
Shocking images are circulating on social media, showing the aftermath of a brutal assault against a well-known political activist in Thailand, this week.
Sirawith Seritiwat - who actively campaigns against the Thai military's authoritarian rule in government - was assaulted just before midday on Friday.
His unknown attackers used baseball bats to beat him around the head, leaving him for dead in the middle of a busy sidewalk, in Bangkok.
This is the second physical assault on the highly respected activist - widely referred to as 'Ja New' - in just four weeks.
It has sparked serious questions from the public around freedom of speech in the south east Asian nation.
Breaking! #Junta critic Sirawith "New" Seritiwat was attacked. Four assailants hit him in the head with baseball bats. #Thai authorities have failed to investigate ongoing thuggish violence against dissidents, raising concerns about possible government involvement. pic.twitter.com/Al4mTaG7VU— Sunai (@sunaibkk) June 28, 2019
Local reports suggest Seritiwat's attackers approached him on unlicensed motorbikes, and covered their faces with helmets while they bashed him until he lost consciousness.
His mother, Patnaree Chankij, told reporters that Sirawith was raced to hospital but didn't regain consciousness until several hours later.
Sirawith is recovering in hospital, after sustaining a fractured eye socket and serious head injuries.
Ms Patnaree told local media her son had called her on Thursday night - the evening before his attack - to tell her he had been warned that he would be assaulted again if he didn't stop publicly campaigning against the military.
"We are more than just fearful now," she said in a phone interview from the hospital.
"When I arrived at the hospital, he was already in a hospital gown, but I saw that his shirt that they took off him was covered with blood."
The outspoken pro-democracy activist has made headlines before, after he was arrested last May during a political demonstration that marked the fourth anniversary of Bangkok's military coup - also known as Junta rule.
Advocacy groups have been left outraged, claiming Sirawith's attack is a "systematic" assault against freedom of speech, and anyone who opposes a military-led government.
It comes after Thailand's military took control of the government in 2014 and has led an active campaign to crackdown on any public displays of dissent.
Prayuth, the leader of the military coup was elected to the office of Prime Minister early this month in a parliamentary vote.
Many believe the outcome of the election was rigged towards junta rule.
Anti-junta activist Sirawith Seritiwat's breathing is slow after being assaulted in the head by 4 men with baseball bat and still unconscious.. Welcome to Juntaland Thailand where there is 99.99 democracy! HT photo Noppakow of Khaosod pic.twitter.com/hOQGEJWSSZ— Pravit Rojanaphruk (@PravitR) June 28, 2019
Sirawith's assault has prompted major criticism from members of the public, who have since taken to social media to express their frustration over the military coup and it's brutal regime.
Many described the attack as "disgusting", calling on the government to investigate the attack immediately.
"Enough! What is this country turning into?" one person wrote.
"The people behind this need to be exposed and dealt with."
Another said: "We need to stand up and fight against violence which this government is perpetuating."
Witnesses say 4 young men with possible military affiliations attacked junta critic Sirawith “New” Seritiwat. He is unresponsive and his skull have been split open. Doctors are busy performing brain scans. The activist is unresponsive. pic.twitter.com/bNruDln7rm— ThaiMythbuster (@thaimythbuster) June 28, 2019
Sirawith isn't the only pro-democracy activist that has been attacked in Thailand.
Most of these incidents have never been investigated and no charges have ever been laid.
Political activist Anurak Jeantawanich claimed he was attacked in May by a group of up to eight men.
They covered their heads with helmets - like Sirawith's assailants - and used metal bars to beat his head in.
This came after Anurak announced plans to protest against the upcoming Thai election.
Another activist, Ekachai Hongkangkwan, faced physical abuse by attackers on several occasions in addition to having his parked car set on fire twice.
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