Lèse majesté CD seller released
On 2 February, Sathian Rattanawong was released from Bangkok Remand Prison after serving a year and eleven months for selling CDs with lèse majesté content in 2011.
He was greeted by about 20 people including relatives and red shirts.
He said that he was glad to be released. His three-year jail term, which was due to end in early April this year, was commuted after he applied for a ticket-of-leave according to the Corrections Department’s rules as he had already served almost two thirds of his time.
He was, however, required to report to the Department in the next three days in his home province Sa Kaeo in eastern Thailand.
He was arrested on 19 Mar 2011 near the Democracy Monument during a red-shirt rally. The police accused him of selling CDs with content that was offensive to the monarchy, and confiscated 20 of them. On 4 July of the same year, he was sentenced to 6 years in prison with a fine of 100,000 baht, but the penalties were reduced by half as he had pleaded guilty.
He said that he had applied for a royal pardon, but his petition did not succeed. However, his jail term was reduced twice under the 2011 and 2012 Royal Pardon Decrees, and that enabled him to apply for the ticket-of-leave and finally be released.