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Ja New offered police protection – if he gives up activism

After a violent assault by anonymous thugs left him with severe injuries, political activist Sirawith “Ja New” Seritiwat on Sunday sought police protection but was told he would get none unless he gave up his activism. Sirawith has yet to decide whether he will agree to the deal.

The anti-junta activist was discharged from hospital on Sunday after having been under medical care since June 28, when he was attacked in Bangkok by four bat-wielding men in broad daylight. This was the second violent assault on Sirawath in the space of a month but police have been unable to identify or catch the attackers in either case.

The latest assault left him with serious injuries including a fractured eye socket that has affected his sight and forced him to postpone travelling to India, where he was due to study for a master’s degree. Told he will need at least six months to recover, Sirawith has asked for his scholarship to be postponed until next year.