Relatives of those convicted and jailed for lese majeste are pinning their hopes on royal pardons so they can be reunited with their loved ones.
Lese majeste convicts deal with missing their families by maintaining hope they will be released soon through a royal pardon.
Kichiang sae Lim, 75, father of Thantawut Thaweewarodom, who was sentenced to 13 years for being the webmaster of the alleged anti-monarchy website NorporchorUSA, said the situation in his family has become better.
Before, the family faced social stigma associated with the serious charge.
"The son of Noom [Thantawut's nickname] visited his father on a regular basis in the past year. Noom has also behaved well as his request for a royal pardon is being processed," Mr Kichiang said.
Two other lese majeste prisoners, Singaporean Vanchai Sae Ton and Surachai Danwattananusorn, have also applied for royal pardons over the past year.
Vanchai, who speaks Thai, has been detained in the Bangkok Remand Prison for about four years.
Surachai's status is complicated as his latest lawsuit for violating the Emergency Decree and causing damage to private property during a red-shirt march into the Royal Cliff Beach Resort which forced the Asean Summit to be cancelled in 2009 is waiting for official dismissal from the court.
The hotel has withdrawn its complaints against the protesters who invaded the property.
Surachai was sentenced to 12 years from five lawsuits. He received a pardon which reduced his sentence by one fifth last year during the Queen's birthday. He has more than eight years to serve.
Pranee Danwattananusorn, Surachai's wife, said the 71-year-old inmate seemed to be in good health and good spirits.
"Thanks to the death of Ah Kong [lese majeste prisoner Ampon Tangnoppakul, also known as Uncle SMS] who died while serving his sentence at a prison hospital and a public outcry over the standard of medical treatment within the corrections system, the quality of services seems to have improved," Ms Pranee said.
Surachai was treated for prostate cancer at the Police General Hospital, which is not within the precincts of the Bangkok Remand Prison, last year.
It is easier to receive medicine for the inmates as some of the red tape has been cut, Ms Pranee said.
She said it has taken two years for all the paperwork for the royal pardon application to be completed.
"It is such a long time but Khun Surachai is hopeful that he will be set free, sooner or later," his wife said.
Anon Nampha, who is representing the lese majeste prisoners, said the inmates asked to be transferred to the less strict temporary prison in Lak Si while waiting for their royal pardon applications to be processed. The requests have not been endorsed, however.
Two other lese majeste inmates, Somyot Preuksakasemsuk and Ekachai Hongkangwan, chose to fight their cases at the Appeal Court while another defendant, Yuthaphum Madnok from Si Sa Ket, is defending the case at the court of first instance.
The only female lese majeste inmate, Daranee Charncherngsilapakul (also known as Da Torpedo), has been imprisoned for the longest time, more than four years. It is understood she is having a traumatic time away from her family. Her only brother, who used to travel from Phuket to visit her at the Women's Correctional Institute in Bangkok, was recently imprisoned for a petty fraud charge.
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- Writer: Achara Ashayagachat