World Bulletin / News Desk
A prominent leader of a movement in support of Thailand's overthrown government has been jailed after a criminal court found him guilty of breaking bail conditions after he made statements seen to “incite unrest".
Jatuporn Promphan was one of five leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) -- the official name of the anti-junta Red Shirts movement -- to appear Tuesday at the Bangkok criminal court.
Prosecutors claimed they had violated their bail conditions, which forbid them from “making remarks which could be construed as stirring unrest and violating the rights of individuals or state agencies”.
Promphan -- the most outspoken of the Red Shirts leaders -- was sent directly to jail after his bail was revoked, while the cases against the other leaders were thrown out.
Thai news website Khaosod reported the court as saying that Promphan had violated the preconditions of his temporary release as it deemed his comments on Thailand’s current political situation instigated unrest in the society.
The five men were originally indicted in 2010 for terrorism after they led massive demonstrations against the then government of former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in April and May of that year, but were released on bail.
Vejjajiva is the political nemesis of Red Shirt movement figurehead Thaksin Shinawatra -- prime minister from 2001 until he was overthrown in a coup in September 2006, and the brother of Yingluck Shinawatra, who was overthrown by the present military junta in 2014.
On May 19, 2010, Vejjajiva's government ordered the military to crush the demonstrations, with 94 people, mostly demonstrators, killed during the unrest.
In December 2013, Vejjajiva and his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban were charged by prosecutors with murder for having authorized the use of live fire against protesters during the 2010 repression, but a court dismissed the case in August 2014.
An appeals court upheld the dismissal last February.