Thai high court affirms guilt of 2009 Pattaya rioters

FILE- in this April 11, 2009, file photo, anti-government demonstrators storm past soldiers as they force their way into the 14th ASEAN Summit convention hall in Pattaya, Thailand. Thailand's Supreme Court has affirmed the prison sentences of 12 members of the "Red Shirt" political movement on charges related to rioting that disrupted an important regional conference in 2009. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
FILE- in this April 11, 2009, file photo, anti-government leader Arisman Pongruangrong is cheered as he and others march through the 14th ASEAN Convention Center in Pattaya, Thailand. Thailand's Supreme Court has affirmed the prison sentences of 12 members of the "Red Shirt" political movement on charges related to rioting that disrupted an important regional conference in 2009. (AP Photo/David Longstreath, File)

BANGKOK — Thailand's Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed the prison sentences of 12 members of the "Red Shirt" political movement convicted in connection with rioting that disrupted an important regional conference in 2009.

The 12 had received four-year prison sentences for their actions on April 11, 2009, when supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra seeking to force out a government of their opponents stormed a hotel in the resort city of Pattaya hosting the summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The ASEAN leaders were forced to flee, some by helicopter, and the summit was postponed.

The defendants were convicted on charges of sedition, illegal assembly, damaging property and trespassing.

Wednesday's ruling reversed the conviction of a 13th defendant.

The 2009 unrest was one of a series of violent confrontations that followed Thaksin's 2006 ouster from power by a military coup. It set off years of struggle for power between Thaksin's supporters and opponents, both of whom engaged in aggressive street protests against governments led by the other's faction.

The Red Shirt actions in Pattaya were aimed at ousting Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva from power. In 2010, the Red Shirts launched a more radical action in the capital, Bangkok, occupying parts of the city for two months, during which more than 90 people were killed and thousands hurt. The military ended the protests through force, and Abhisit's government held on until a 2011 election, when Thaksin's allies took power again.

Those Red Shirts sentenced for the 2009 action included two of the group's more senior leaders, Worachai Hema, a former pro-Thaksin lawmaker, and Arisman Pongruangrong, a popular former pop singer-turned-firebrand.

In August, a Thai court dismissed terrorism and other charges against 24 other Red Shirt leaders in connection with the 2010 protest. The Bangkok Criminal Court ruled that the action was "a political fight, not terrorism."

Must Read

If Trump can't get along with GOP, how will he...

Aug 9, 2016

Beyond the political fallout from Donald Trump's rocky relationship with party elders lies a...

Beyond 'Obamacare': State initiatives refocus...

Aug 9, 2016

Political activists are looking to state ballot questions to move beyond "Obamacare" and refocus...

RNC hires strategists to help woo...

Aug 9, 2016

The Republican National Committee has hired three new strategists to help increase its outreach to...

Criticism of lavish funeral for Anne of Romania

Aug 10, 2016

The presidents of Romania and Moldova pay their last respects to Anne of Romania at a 19th-century...

Rare 4th-century mosaic of chariot race found in...

Aug 10, 2016

A Cypriot archaeologist says a mosaic floor dating to the 4th century has been uncovered depicting...

About Us

The Daily Feeder, keep your life updated with the world’s most important political, business, and cultural news 24/7 like no any other news network can.

Subscribe Now!