Submitted on Mon, 2014-07-28 20:25
The authorities on Monday morning transferred most of the red-shirt political prisoners who were arrested after the 2010 political violence in Bangkok from Laksi temporary prison to more crowded permanent prisons where conditions are worse.
The Laksi Prison for political prisoners was initiated during the Yingluck Shinawatra government. In early 2012, a building in the Special Branch Police Headquarters compound was modified to detain about 50 prisoners, mostly involved in the 2010 political violence in Bangkok when about 90 people were killed during the military crackdown on the red-shirt protesters.
Before the prison was abandoned on Monday, there were 22 prisoners, 20 men and 2 women. Most of them were charged with serious offences such as arson, terrorism and illegal possession of weapons
Most of the male prisoners were moved to the Bangkok Remand Prison and one female prisoner was transferred to the Central Women Correctional Institution. Six prisoners, five men and one woman, remain at Laksi, according to a prison officer.
The wife of Boonchai, who was convicted by the Court of First Instance for attacking the Bangkok Bank Headquarters with a molotov cocktail, cried after learning that her husband was moved to the Bangkok Remand Prison, since the prison is very crowded and there are more restrictions.
At Laksi, families can visit prisoners for up to one hour, while at other prisons, visits last only 15 minutes. Moreover, only Laksi Prison allows families to send prisoners food from outside. At other prisons, only food bought at the Prisoners’ Welfare Shop or authorised shops is allowed to be sent inside the prison.
Wittaya Suriyawong, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Corrections, said the Department decided to abandon Laksi Prison because it has been proved that these prisoners are not political prisoners but prisoners who have committed ordinary crimes. Moreover, there were very few prisoners but it cost the Department about one million baht per year.