Activists demand ex-PM Thaksin’s return to prison amid health condition scepticism

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

A coalition of political activists and reform campaigners, led by Pichit Chaimongkol, yesterday demanded the reinstatement of public faith in the rule of law. They have urged Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to ensure the re-incarceration of former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

The 74 year old former PM, who recently returned from a 15-year self-imposed exile on August 22, had a brief stint of just 13 hours at the Bangkok Remand Prison before his transfer to the Police General Hospital, where he continues to stay.

This collective lodged a petition at the Government House’s complaint centre, pushing for Thaksin’s return to prison. The petition was accepted by Sompas Nilphan, who is an adviser to the permanent secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Pichit Chaimongkol raised concerns about public scepticism regarding Thaksin’s need for medical care. He suggested the widespread belief that Thaksin’s privacy rights as a prisoner were manipulated to avoid inquiries about his health conditions. Additionally, there are theories that the Department of Corrections regulations were used to accord preferential treatment to Thaksin. The department, however, has refuted these allegations, denying the claims of the 74-year-old inmate receiving any special considerations.

The department stated that Thaksin had been diagnosed with various ailments such as high blood pressure, pulmonary fibrosis, and ischemic cardiomyopathy. These conditions, according to them, could not be treated adequately at the Central Correctional Hospital, leading to his transfer.

Pichit also pointed out that the Pheu Thai Party has prioritised national reconciliation. The government, under its leadership, vowed to reinstate the rule of law in its policy statement. He emphasised the necessity of ensuring equal treatment for all under the law, precluding any preferential treatment for inmates.

Pichit added that the network is demanding the 61 year old prime minister order the authorities to bring Thaksin back to prison to serve his sentence. The prime minister cannot keep himself aloof from this matter and the network will keep pressuring him to fulfil the government’s policy on administering justice.

He has also pressed for a clarification on Thaksin’s health status from the Police General Hospital. If Thaksin requires treatment, Pichit suggests that he should be transferred to the Central Correctional Hospital.

Thaksin, who had his eight-year jail term for conflict of interest and abuse of authority reduced to one year through a royal pardon, is currently receiving treatment at the Royal Suite 1401 in the Maha Bhumibol Rachanusorn 88 Phansa Building of the Police General Hospital, Bangkok Post reported.

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Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.

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