Renowned political figure, Thaksin Shinawatra, was spotted during a spotlight episode of CARE Clubhouse x CARE Talk in May 2023. Recognisable for his service as the former prime minister of Thailand, Thaksin’s current situation has caused quite a ripple in the political scene of the nation.
The Department of Corrections (DoC) has made significant public statements clarifying that Thaksin’s safety and wellbeing is its utmost concern during his impending incarceration following his voluntary return to Thailand. This announcement is scheduled for the 10th of August. Ayuth Sintoppant, the Director-General of DoC, voiced this assurance last Friday as a response to the Deputy Prime Minister and provisional Justice Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam’s remarks. On Thursday, the Deputy Prime Minister stated that Thaksin must attend court to receive his sentencing for his trio of cases, which cumulatively result in a decade-long jail term.
Ayuth went on to explain that the department would take earnest measures to ensure Thaksin’s safety by keeping him separate from the rest of the prison population. The reasoning was backed by the argument that the sheer number and diverse nature of inmates pose a potential risk to Thaksin’s safety. The department is considering exclusive arrangements like assigning dedicated officials or a private cell for Thaksin in an attempt to preclude potential harm.
Interestingly, the department refrained from disclosing the name of the correctional facility where Thaksin would serve his sentence yet. Looking at Thaksin’s situation from a broader perspective reveals his inclusion in the “608” susceptible group, considering his current age of 74. This particular figure “608” denotes seniors and individuals with seven certain health conditions such as diabetes, cancers, heart diseases, along with pregnant women.
Prior to his actual imprisonment, Thaksin will undergo a compulsory 10-day Covid-19 quarantine, with special facilities set for elderly detainees. As an elderly detainee, Thaksin would participate in designated programs and activities like reading or teaching. Ayuth also indicated that the department would establish a visiting facility in anticipation of the numerous visitors that might range from family members and supporter groups to representatives from national and international organizations. However, any visits on Thaksin’s first day of imprisonment are yet to be confirmed.
In an interesting development, Ayuth squashed rumours that VIP detainees are treated to air-conditioned rooms, stating that prison cells are equipped merely with electric fans. This looks set to make Thaksin’s impending return and incarceration in Thailand a topic of global interest.