By THE NATION
Frank Cuesta’s campaign on Change.org was addressed to the National Council for Peace and Order. He expected to solicit one million signatures and is planning to create an Instagram account: freeyuyee_official soon.
The hashtag #Freeyuyee is trending around the world, particularly in Spain, although Thai users appear to be paying little attention to the campaign.
Yuyee’s fate has drawn much attention from Spaniards because of Costa’s campaign. A Thai tour agent said her clients from Spain asked her about Yuyee and criticised the Thai justice system.
Many Thai users discussed the detail of Yuyee’s case with some wondering why she received such a harsh punishment.
Some said she was given the 15 years because she was found guilty of smuggling, not possession, which had a lesser jail term.
The Criminal Court initially gave her a 20-year jail sentence but later commuted it to 15 years and three months after she gave useful information to investigators. She was also fined Bt1.5 million.
Yuyee, or Chatchaya Ramos, was denied bail from both courts and has already been detained for three years.
The campaign raised doubts about the information surrounding her arrest on November 10, 2012, as well as the police investigation.
The information from Yuyee’s side suggests she was set up and the case stemmed from her husband’s conflicts with influential figures concerning the smuggling of wild animals.
The campaign also gave some details about Yuyee’s life in prison. Her bail requests during the trials in the three courts were denied, making some question the motives behind the case.
Yuyee had a prior record of using drugs, which was said to have led to the harsh penalty. However she said in an interview that she had not used drugs for more than 10 years before being arrested.
The campaign went viral on Facebook and Twitter, but her chances of release seem slim. Some observers said that as her case went through three courts and the Supreme Court upheld the sentence of the Appeals Court there is no way to revive her case, unless there is sufficient new evidence for a retrial.