On Wednesday, a group of political activists have urged Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to restore public trust in the legal system by insisting that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra should return to prison and serve more time.
Thaksin, who returned to Thailand on August 22 after a decade and a half of self-imposed exile, briefly resided in the Bangkok Remand Prison for a span of 13 hours before being moved to the Police General Hospital, where he is currently situated.
The assembly of students and advocates for reform, spearheaded by Pichit Chaimongkol, lodged a plea urging for Thaksin’s return to jail, at the complaint center situated within the Government House.
This plea was accepted by Sompas Nilphan, a counsel to the chief secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Pichit conveyed that the public is skeptical regarding Thaksin’s necessity for medical assistance, suspecting that the authorities might be utilizing his prisoner privacy rights to sidestep inquiries concerning his health issues.
He remarked that a substantial number of people perceive that the rules of the Department of Corrections have been manipulated to accord special benefits to Thaksin.
Despite this, the department has refuted claims that the 74-year-old inmate received any special privileges.
Thaksin is grappling with several health issues including high blood pressure, pulmonary fibrosis, and ischemic cardiomyopathy, among other ailments, which the Central Correctional Hospital is not equipped to handle, as stated by the department at the time of his transfer.
Mr. Pichit pointed out that the Pheu Thai Party has declared national reconciliation as a top concern, with the incumbent government committing to reestablish the rule of law, as outlined in its policy statement.
He urged that the government should guarantee equal treatment for all individuals under the legal framework, prohibiting any special considerations for prisoners.
“So the network is demanding the prime minister order the authorities to bring Thaksin back to prison to serve his sentence”, he stated.
“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 added.
He also asserted that the Police General Hospital ought to disclose details regarding Thaksin’s health, and in case he necessitates medical intervention, a transfer to the Central Correctional Hospital should be facilitated.
Thaksin was granted a royal pardon which reduced his initial eight-year sentence for ethical misconduct and misuse of power to one year.
He is presently undergoing treatment in the Royal Suite 1401, housed within the Maha Bhumibol Rachanusorn 88 Phansa Building of the Police General Hospital.