Activist ‘Pai Dao Din’ to be released on Friday by the King’s Pardon

The King pardoned the approximately 50,000 inmates on the occasion of his coronation; Jatupat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, a prominent activist, who will be released on Friday 10 May.

Before the coronation, King Vajiralongkorn pardoned approximately 50,000 convicts who meet specific conditions, including the disabled, the sick, and the youth, and the inmates who have been in prison for a certain time. One of them is Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, also known as Pai Dao Din, he was eligible to be pardon for he has remaining sentence less than a year.  

“Pai Dao Din will be released on the upcoming May 10,” said Wiboon Boonpattararaksa, Jatupat’s father on his Facebook. “Please share the news, because many people constantly asked about this.”

If there was no the royal pardon, Jatupat would be released on 19 June. Jatupat, an activist, was sentenced for 2 years and 6 months in jail for violating the lèse-majesté law after he shared a BBC biography of His Majesty the King from BBC Thai.

Earlier, Jatupat’s father shared a concern that the royal pardon might have meant nothing for his son, because the pardon’s process can be completed as late as 19 August, long after he was released. The Decree of Royal Pardon, announced on 21 April, specifies that authorities must finish the process within 120 days.

In order to be pardoned, an inmate’s profile also has to be vetted by the committees, including the provincial governor, the local judge and attorney. They will have a final say if the inmate meets the requirement. “Previously, requirements for suspension or reduction of the sentence, Pai met them all, but he always failed when it came to the [committee’s] judgements” said Wiboon on his Facebook.

5 yellow shirt leaders, including Chamlong Srimuang (83), Pipob Thongchai (72), Somkiet Pongpaiboon (68), Somsak Kosaisuk (72), Suriyasai Katasila (45) are also be released. In 13 February, they were jailed for 8 months for occupying the Government House when they organized the protest in 2008.

However, Sondhi Limthongkul (70) will not be pardoned, because he was jailed for 20 years for fabricating Manager Media Group Company’s fake report to guarantee Krung Thai’s Bank one-billion-baht loan to another company which he was also a stakeholder.