A senator has warned the government to treat all prisoners fairly, and claimed the privileges that convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra receives could cause trouble for the government in the future.
During the second day of the debate on the government's policy statement in parliament on Tuesday, Senator Thawil Pliensri said Thaksin, 74, stayed for about 13 hours at the Bangkok Remand Prison before being transferred to the Police General Hospital.
Thaksin receives medical treatment in a private room, Royal Suite 1401, on the 14th floor of the Maha Bhumibol Rachanusorn 88 Phansa Building after suffering from chest pain, hypertension and low blood oxygen on the night of Aug 22, the day when he returned to Thailand and was sent to prison.
He has stayed in the hospital for more than 20 days and has been allowed to have a list of 10 visitors a day. He has also received a royal pardon which reduced his eight-year jail term to one year.
As a result, Mr Thawil says he is now calling on the government to treat all inmates equally.
"I urge the government to abide by its principles and judicial standards. All the privileges Thaksin is receiving may upset many people and that may lead to unexpected incidents in the future," he said.
Meanwhile, Praphrut Chatprapachai, a legal expert and former Democrat MP candidate, urged the government to take legal action against Thaksin for violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste law.
Mr Praphrut said Thaksin gave an interview to the media in South Korea in 2015, which was associated with the monarchy. Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, former deputy defence minister and secretary-general of the now-defunct National Peace Keeping Council, had instructed the Judge Advocate General's Department to bring legal action against Thaksin.
The lawsuit was filed by the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG). The Criminal Court accepted the case for trial in 2015 and issued an arrest warrant for Thaksin.
Therefore, he urged Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to instruct the police to take legal action against Thaksin.
If the government fails to do so, that might reveal a loophole that allows groups or other individuals to call on the government to release inmates who violated Section 112 by claiming equality, which may lead to a demand to amend Section 112 in the future, he said.