5 key red shirt members, ex-minister among 27,000 to get royal pardon in Thailand

PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

Five members of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) and a former deputy education minister would be released from prison after they received royal pardons, Bangkok Remand Prison announced on Sunday (Sept 13).

The five UDD members, also known as red shirts, include Dr Weng Tojirakarn, Veerakarn Musikapong, Worachai Hema, Wiphutalaeng Pattanaphumthai and Payab Pankate, who had been jailed for taking part in several violent political protests against the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration in 2010.

Pol Lieutenant Chaowarin Lattasaksiri, a former deputy education minister, had been jailed for embezzlement from a Cambodian company since July 2019.

“These five political prisoners and one former politician are among 27,000 prisoners who would be released by Department of Corrections after they were given royal pardons,” said the announcement. “They are undergoing a 15-day coaching session to prepare them for life outside prison.”

Weng, Veerakarn and Worachai will complete their training and be released on September 15, while Wiphutalaeng, Payab and Chaowarin will be released on September 30.

According to the Royal Pardon Act BE 2563, in order to receive a royal pardon a prisoner must have less than one year of remaining time to serve if over 60 years old, and less than three years of remaining time to serve for those above 70.