Thai political prisoners can be released right away

Thai political prisoners can be released right away
File photo of Thai 'red shirts'

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha's government should not wait until the new charter comes into effect before pardoning and releasing hundreds of political prisoners as this can be done right away, Constitution Drafting Committee member Paiboon Nititawan said yesterday.

He explained that this move would also open the door to reconciliation. Paiboon said he supports the idea, which was first floated by Anek Laothamatas, chairman of the National Reform Council's committee on studies of national reconciliation.

He pointed out that there are close to 1,000 members of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship who are either facing charges or are behind bars.

At least 100 members of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) are also in the same predicament, he said.

Paiboon added that many political prisoners also face terrorism or sedition charges and they should definitely be considered for amnesty.

"I think even those charged with terrorism should be granted amnesty. Members of the People's Alliance for Democracy [PAD] and PDRC have also been charged with sedition, and if action is to be taken it should be fair to all sides," Paiboon added.

However, he said, those convicted on murder, corruption, arson or lese majeste charges should not be considered.

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