On being free

12 07 2013

Readers may be interested in a post at the Thai Red Shirt blog that interviews Thanthawut Thaweewarodomkul, recently released from prison after serving three years for lese majeste. Thanthawut explains that he agreed to seek a royal pardon after the death in custody of Ampol Tangnopakul.

The interview was provided on the day he was released. Some excerpts:

TRS: How was your time in prison?

Thantawut: It is better now toward the end of my sentence since the government and the UDD are paying more attention in political and 112 prisoners. Back in 2010, the Red Shirts supporters who were imprisoned have been picked on more frequently than others. At first, it was a hard time for all of us. Especially for the 112 prisoners who were particularly targeted.

… I have never been in jail before. In my heart, I believed that I wouldn’t be in here for long since I would get bail soon. I never thought that have to be in prison until today. Due to the judicial process and injustice, I was denied bail and remain incarcerated until now.

TRS: How are the other 112 prisoners doing?

Thantawut: We have been well taken care of since the government and the UDD are paying attention to us prisoners more than before. The correctional officers do not bother us as much, even though a few of them hated us, but they leave us alone, unlike before.

TRS: You have written many letters to Assoc. Prof. Tida, did she help or response to you at all?

Thantawut: I never thought that Mrs. Tida would have paid this much attention to my letters because I feel that nobody cares about the 112 prisoners but she have proved me wrong. She stopped by and encouraged us not to lose hope. Every request that was sent through the letters has been answered one way or another by Ar-jarn Tida herself.

TRS: Is there anything you want to say to the Red Shirts supporters?

Thantawut: As a former 112 prisoner, I do not want the Red Shirts supporters to differentiate between political prisoners in Lak Sri Prison and 112 prisoners at Bangkok Remand Prison because all of us shared the same ideology. We derived from the same beginning, we attend the same rally and we listen to the same speeches. Why is there a need to separate us from the other political prisoners? Why should 112 prisoners received less support from the Red Shirts? I want the Red Shirts supporters to think of us the same way that they think about other political prisoners because being in jail is already like living in hell.


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