A group of political activists on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to restore public trust in the rule of law by ensuring convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra serves more time in prison.
Thaksin, who returned on Aug 22 from 15 years of self-imposed exile, stayed at Bangkok Remand Prison for 13 hours before he was transferred to the Police General Hospital where he remains.
The group of students and reform campaigners led by Pichit Chaimongkol filed a petition calling for Thaksin’s return to jail, at the complaint centre of Government House. The petition was received by Sompas Nilphan, an adviser to the permanent secretary of the PM’s Office.
Mr Pichit said the public doubts Thaksin requires medical attention, and many believe the authorities used his right to privacy as a prisoner to evade questions about his illnesses.
He said many believe the regulations of the Department of Corrections were exploited to grant privileges to Thaksin. The department has denied that the 74-year-old inmate received any favours.
Thaksin is suffering from high blood pressure, pulmonary fibrosis, ischemic cardiomyopathy and other conditions that the Central Correctional Hospital lacked the facilities to treat, the department said when he was transferred.
Mr Pichit noted that the Pheu Thai Party has declared national reconciliation a top priority and the government it leads has pledged to restore the rule of law in its policy statement.
The government must ensure that all people are treated equally under the rule of law and that no inmates get preferential treatment, he said.
“So the network is demanding the prime minister order the authorities to bring Thaksin back to prison to serve his sentence,” he said.
“The prime minister cannot keep himself aloof from this matter and the network will keep pressuring him to fulfil the government’s policy on administering justice.”
The Police General Hospital should clarify Thaksin’s health condition and if he needs treatment, he should be moved to the Central Correctional Hospital, he said.
Thaksin has received a royal pardon that reduced his eight-year jail term for conflict of interest and abuse of authority to one year. He is being treated at Royal Suite 1401 in the Maha Bhumibol Rachanusorn 88 Phansa Building of the Police General Hospital.