THERE was overwhelming joy among those who had assembled outside Bangkok Remand Prison today (Dec. 18) as Mr. Nattawut Saikua, a former leader of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (“Red Shirts”), was set free, Amarin TV reported.
Aside from his wife, Sirisakul Saikua, who is also a leader of this political pressure group, two other leaders, Weng Tojirakarn and Thida Thavornsate, were also there to welcome him.
The red shirts waiting outside the prison wall cheered as he came out and from there headed to the Department of Probation to get an electronic monitoring bracelet affixed. He now enters probationary procedure and conditions may be set as appropriate.
Nattawut, together with other UDD leaders including Veerakarn (then Veera) Musikapong, Weng Tojirakarn, Nopparut Worachitwuthikul, and Wiputhalaeng Pattanaphumthai had their sentences upheld by the Supreme Court in June this year over the July 2007 protest at the residence of the late president of the Privy Council, Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda.
Even so, Nuttawut had his two-year and eight-month sentence reduced according to the 2020 Royal Decree of Amnesty.
Nattawut was the secretary-general and spokesman of the UDD and a member of Parliament for the Pheu Thai party list. In 2008, he was spokesman for the Somchai Wongsawat government. From January 2012 to May 2014, he served as Deputy Minister in Yingluck Shinawatra’s cabinet.
Nattawut gets a warm welcome upon his release today. Thai headline says, “To freedom.” Photos: Amarin TV