Bangkok / Between 30,000 and 50,000 prisoners will be released and many others will see their sentences commuted in Thailand under a royal pardon granted by the king on Friday on occasion of his recent coronation.
The Department of Corrections said in a statement that the first batch of hundreds of prisoners were being released on Friday, including a young man who was sentenced in 2017 to two years and six months in prison for lèse-majesté (insulting the monarch).
Jatupat Boonpattaraksa, known as Pai Dao Din, was the first person convicted during the reign of King Maha Vajiralongkorn (who ascended to the throne in late 2016 upon the death of his father) for lèse-majesté, a law that establishes sentences of up to 15 years in prison to those who criticize or mock the royal family.
In a message posted on Facebook following his release from a prison in the province of Khon Kaen (northeast), Jatupat said he felt deeply moved and pledged to fight with love for democracy and freedom.
The young man was arrested for sharing on social media a profile critical of the monarch published by the BBC. After his imprisonment, he was awarded the prestigious Gwangju Prize for Human Rights granted by South Korea.
“Now I will stop sharing news first and in the future, we will see,” he said.
Jatupat was 26 years old at the time of his conviction.
Others who were freed included four leaders of the conservative “yellow shirt” protester movement, which in late 2008 occupied Bangkok’s main airport and forced it to temporarily shut down operations.
The pardon is expected to be applied within a period of 120 days since it came into effect Saturday.
It will benefit, among others, prisoners on probation, persons over the age of 60 years who have less than three years left to complete their sentence or those under the age of 20 who have been sentenced for the first time and have already served half their jail terms.
On the other hand, those sentenced to death will see their sentence commuted to life imprisonment, as long as they have not benefited from a previous pardon.
King Vajiralongkorn, the 10th monarch of the Chakri dynasty, rose to the throne in December 2016, three months after the death of his father, the revered Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), who had reigned for seven decades. (May 10, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)
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Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas (Read the news and answer the questions)
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Review grammar notes: indicative or subjunctive?, 100 subjunctives in perfect tenses to speak Castilian (Spanish)