Mon, Aug 01, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwanese in Thai prisons hoping for amnesty from king

CHANCE AT FREEDOM:More than 30 of the 186 Taiwanese prisoners in Thailand are hoping to follow the two inmates paroled earlier this year

Staff Writer, with CNA

Following the release of two inmates on parole from a Thai jail earlier this year, another two Taiwanese inmates have applied for parole in the coming month, a non-government legal aid group said last week.

The second pair have handed in their applications for parole, which are likely to be approved in the coming month, said Chang Hsueh-hai (張學海), the head of the Taiwan Association for Legal Aid, who paid a recent visit to the prisoners.

The first Taiwanese prisoner to be paroled in Thailand was Su Hsiang-ju (蘇相如), who returned to Taiwan on Nov. 4 last year.

Su was originally sentenced to death for his involvement in a drug case in 1986, but his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.

He was granted a special pardon by King Bhumibol Adulyadej after 23 years as part of a prison amnesty program to mark the 60th anniversary of the monarch’s coronation.

Bhumibol turns 84 this year and Chang said the king will likely grant special pardons to inmates who have shown good behavior as part of his birthday celebrations.

About 30 other Taiwanese inmates have applied for parole and have a good chance of having their terms reduced, Chang said.

There are 186 Taiwanese currently imprisoned in Thailand, down from 220 earlier this year, most of whom have been convicted of drug offenses or fraud.

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