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Thailand Sentences 6 ‘Yellow Shirt’ Protesters to 2 Years in Prison

FILE - Co-leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) Sondhi Limthongkul.

Six "yellow shirt" protesters in Thailand have been sentenced to two years in prison for breaking into the prime minister's office during massive anti-government protests in 2008.

A court in Bangkok delivered the ruling Thursday, saying the defendants climbed the fence and broke locks barring entry to the building, and in doing so, affected the rights of other Thai citizens.

The defendants, including media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul, are accused of leading the protests. The defendants have been released on bail, pending appeals.

The Yellow Shirt protests began in 2006 as a movement against then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a coup that year. The Thaksin critics staged demonstrations again two years later, with protesters complaining about Prime Minister Somchai Wongsuwat's ties to Thaksin.

In addition to breaking into the prime minister's office, the 2008 protesters face charges over the occupation of Bangkok's main airport, a situation that lasted more than a week and stranded thousands of tourists.

The Yellow Shirt movement gave rise to the pro-Thaksin Red Shirt movement, and Thaksin himself remains a prominent force in Thai politics despite going into exile in 2008.

Thaksin's sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, served as prime minister from August 2011 until last year.