Thai activist convicted of defaming king pardoned
BANGKOK (AP) - A political activist who was convicted of defaming Thailand's monarchy received a royal pardon from the king on Thursday and will be freed from jail.
Surachai Danwattananusorn was sentenced last year to 7 1/2 years in prison for making speeches judged to have insulted the monarchy three times in 2010.
He was a communist insurgent in Thailand in the 1970s and was imprisoned in the 1980s. More recently, Surachai led a faction of the Red Shirt political movement, whose members took to the streets and clashed with the military in 2010.
Surachai, 70, was expected to be released from a prison on Bangkok's northern outskirts on Thursday after being pardoned by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Red Shirt chairwoman Thida Thavornseth said.