Thai Delegation’s Request to Free Veera Rejected

A Thai delegation led by Thirapat Serirangsan, chairman of the Thai Political Development Council, met with Deputy Prime Minister Sok An on Wednesday to request the release of Veera Somkwamkid, a Thai “yellow shirt” activist currently imprisoned in Cambodia.

Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said Mr. An had told the delegation that this was not possible and noted that the government had already helped Mr. Veera by reducing his sentence by six months last year.

“The deputy prime minister said that Cambodia has to abide by its own laws and so he could not influence the court system,” Mr. Siphan said.

Mr. Veera and his colleague Ratree Pipattanapaiboon were sentenced to eight and six years, respectively in December 2010, for spying, entering the country illegally, and entering a restricted military area in Banteay Meanchey province.

Ms. Ratree was granted a royal pardon last year. Srun Leang, director of Prey Sar prison’s Correctional Center 1, said Thursday that Mr. Veera was in fine health but that no one from the Thai delegation have visited him yet.

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