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Thailand’s prisons to release thousands monitored with ankle bracelet

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thailand’s prisons to release thousands monitored with ankle bracelet | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s prisons are overcrowded. To fix the problem, they’re sending some of the inmates home and monitoring them with ankle bracelets. Just 39 prisoners have been given the electric monitoring, or EM, ankle bracelets, but the Justice Minister says he expects the bracelets to be used on thousands of convicted criminals to free up space in the prisons.

2 former politicians were in the first round of inmates released on home detention with EM bracelets. Both politicians received parole due to old age and good behaviour, the Nation Thailand reports. Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin says they started the EM system on September 1.

“We expect to use EM bracelets on 87,700 prisoners per year to reduce the overcrowding within prisons and increase monitoring capability to reduce the chance of repeat offences by released prisoners.”

The former interior minister and Pheu Thai Party ex-leader, 78 year old Yongyuth Wichaidit, was released with an EM bracelet. He was sentenced to 2 years in prison allowing the sale of monastic land to build the Alpine Golf Club. The Court says Yongyuth abused his power while serving as acting permanent secretary for interior. He served 8 months, according to the Nation.

Back in February, the Bangkok Remand Prison Chief Krit Krasaethip told the Bangkok Post Yongyuth “will be treated under jail regulations without privileges.”

The former deputy prime minister during the Yingluck Shinawatra administration, 75 year old Plodprasop Suraswadi, was also released with an EM bracelet. He was sentenced to 1 year and 8 months in prison for abuse of power for demoting a senior official when he was permanent secretary of the Natural Resources in 2003. He served 6 months, the Nation says.

Only certain prisoners will be eligible for EM bracelets. They must also pass an evolution to make sure they are not at risk of committing repeat offences, Somsak says.

“Three groups of prisoners would be considered to be fitted with EM bracelets: those whose sentence was reduced by a royal pardon, those who were waiting for test results, and parolees… EM bracelets would not be used with prisoners who committed serious or violent crimes, as they could still be dangerous to the society.”

Those released with an EM bracelet must only stay in certain areas, Somsak says. They must also wear the bracelet for a year after being released.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    September 13, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    What luck there is a Bangkok jobs fair with a million jobs on offer.
    Naw maybe not. Perhaps these released prisoners are better using their talents at other occupations
    Such a taxi drivers.

  2. Avatar

    Alex

    September 13, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Putting tourists in quarantine for 2 weeks is the same thing. The only difference is that you don’t wear a ankle bracelet!

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Protests

5 protesters to be charged over a rally in front of the Thai Army’s headquarters

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5 protesters to be charged over a rally in front of the Thai Army’s headquarters | The Thaiger

With impeccable timing, Nang Loeng police have summoned 5 protest leaders to appear before the Special Prosecutor’s Office at the Dusit District Court in Bangkok. They will be formally charged over their roles in a protest in front of the Army’s headquarters on July 20. At the time it followed an online exchange from an Army official criticising the students who had been protesting at the Democracy Monument days before.

The protest targeted Colonel Nusra Vorapatratorn, deputy spokesperson of the Army. Posting on her Facebook page about the Saturday protest, the Colonel said that rally’s participants should “focus on doing their jobs rather than joining the protest.” The Colonel later deleted the social media post.

Another army spokesman, Colonel Winthai Suvaree, spoke to the media at the time and stated that Nusra “had expressed her personal opinion” and that “she is no longer the deputy spokesperson”.

After protesting outside the Army over the contents of the post, 5 protest leaders face official charges of “violating the Emergency Decree, the Traffic Act and use of loudspeakers in public without permission. The 5 protagonists facing charges are human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Piyarath “Toto” Jongthep, Suwanna Tarnlek and Panupong Jardnok (Mike Rayong).

All 5 deny the charges and say they will defend their roles in court.

The charges follow a weekend of protests, with up to some 30,000 people gathering in the Bangkok rain to rally against the government and confirm a 10-point manifesto which includes demands to reform Thai politics and the country’s monarchy. Specially the demands include the dissolution of the Thai parliament, standing down of the current PM and a new constitution to replace the 2017 Thai charter.

Today the Fine Arts Department has also says it will file charges of “trespassing on an archaeological site” after protesters yesterday embedded a symbolic brass plaque to replace another plaque that dates back to the 1932 Siam Revolution (when a bloodless coup overthrew the ‘absolute monarchy’ in Thailand). That plaque mysteriously disappeared in 2017.

The protesters responded this afternoon by saying that Sanam Luang is not an archaeological site, but a “public space for recreation and for vendors and hawkers”.

Following on from the support of the crowd over the weekend, the protesters are planning to stage another protest in front of Parliament this Thursday. A House debate on constitutional amendments is due to start this Wednesday.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Crime

Woman shot and killed at Bangkok temple

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman shot and killed at Bangkok temple | The Thaiger
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A woman was shot and killed at a Bangkok temple today. Police say 39 year old Linlada Phattanphan was found inside the temple, covered in blood. Her head had been shot at 4 times. Linlada went to the temple this morning to make merit, according to her maid, 52 year old Maneerat Srithornrat. The maid told police that the 2 of them were about to head home when another woman came up behind Linlada and shot her 4 times at a close range. The alleged shooter fled the scene.

Police say they were called to the temple in Bangkok’s Bang Khae district around 7am. A forensic team from Siriraj Hospital responded and joined police in the investigation. They say Linlada was shot at close range with 9mm bullets.

Maneerat told police the alleged shooter was around 35 to 40 years old and was wearing a cap that shadowed her face.

Police are still investigating. Police say they plan to review surveillance camera footage to help identify the alleged shooter.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Protesters’ plaque damaged historical site – Thai Fine Arts Department

Caitlin Ashworth

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Protesters’ plaque damaged historical site – Thai Fine Arts Department | The Thaiger
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The Thai Fine Arts Department claim the pro-democracy protesters, who installed a symbolic brass plaque in an area next to the Grand Palace yesterday morning, broke the law. The department filed a complaint saying the installation of the plaque damaged a historic site, a violation of the Archaeological Site Act.

Protesters cemented the plaque in the perimeter of the Royal Field, known locally as Sanam Luang. It read “At this place the people have expressed their will, that this country belongs to the people and is not the property of the monarch as they have deceived us.”

Sanam Luang is a registered archaeological site. Entering the area to install a plaque without permission is an offence under the Historical Sites, Archaeological Objects, Art Objects and National Museum Act 1961, according to the department’s director general Prateep Phengtako.

“Those who invade a historic site or destroy or depreciate it can face up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to 700,000 baht.”

The department says since the plaque was illegally installed at Sanam Luang as part of the weekend’s protests.

“It is considered destruction and depreciation of a historic site.

Less than 24 hours after the plaque was installed, it was removed and covered with concrete. The plaque was to replace a brass plaque that commemorated the end of Siam’s absolute monarchy and the introduction of constitutional democracy for Thailand in 1932. The original plaque mysteriously disappeared in 2017 and was replaced with a new plaque with a pro-monarchist slogan.

The Fine Arts Department made no comment at the time of the removal of the old historical plaque in 2017.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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