Freedom for Pai after 870 days of detention

10 May 2019

Amnesty International

Photo : The Standard

Amnesty International welcomes the release of prisoner of conscience Pai, Jatuphat Boonpattararaksa, student activist and prominent pro-democracy activist, who was released after a royal amnesty today, roughly two months short of his two and a half years’ imprisonment for sharing a news article on Facebook .


“Amnesty International welcomes Pai’s release from a prison sentence he should never have received.

Pai’s imprisonment and the arbitrary denial of his right to bail during criminal proceedings against him clearly show the outrageous extremes authorities in Thailand have gone to in order to silence peaceful critics and peaceful opponents - including on Facebook. Their treatment of Pai highlighted how arbitrarily authorities have restricted liberty in the name of security. The current and new government must ensure they and the judicial system uphold their obligation to protect free exercise of the right to freedom of expression, including by allowing peaceful criticism of authorities, and prevent against future such violations.”


Pai was charged with lese majeste under Article 112 of the Thai Penal Code for sharing a BBC news article on Facebook . His sentence to five years – halved to 2 ½ years because he pleaded guilty – was handed down in August 2017. He was detained continuously between December 2017 and August 2017. Authorities denied bail requests, saying that his subsequent comments after arrest on Facebook showed he represented a threat to security.