Jailed Activist ‘Pai Dao Din’ to be Freed Friday

A file photo of Jatupat 'Pai' Boonpattararaksa with his parents.

Update May 10, 2019: Jatupat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa was freed at about 9.30am today.

BANGKOK — A student activist imprisoned for royal defamation will be released on Friday, May 10, his father said.

According to Viboon Boonpattararaksa, Jatupat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa will be out of prison about a month earlier than prescribed in his jail sentence because he was eligible for a royal pardon granted by King Vajiralongkorn to mark his coronation.

“Good news. Pai Dao Din will be freed this upcoming May 10,” Viboon, who also serves as his son’s defense lawyer, wrote online. “Please share the news.”

Read: ‘Pai Dao Din’ and Yellowshirts Pardoned By King

Jatupat, a member of the civil rights group Dao Din, was sentenced in 2017 to two and a half years in prison for sharing a BBC biography of His Majesty the King, which the court said contained libelous remarks.

He was convicted under lese majeste, a draconian law that forbids criticism of the monarch. His sentence was originally due to expire in June.

The mass pardons granted by King Vajiralongkorn to 50,000 prisoners also freed five Yellowshirt leaders jailed for anti-government protests back in 2008.