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Thailand jails US citizen for insulting King:

 1 The Bat Pencil, Thu, 8th Dec '11 11:42:23 AM from Glasgow, Scotland Relationship Status: I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love
Thailand has jailed a US citizen for two and a half years after he admitted posting web links to a banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Joe Gordon, a used car salesman from Colorado who was born in Thailand, admitted lese-majeste, or insulting the king, at an earlier hearing.

He was sentenced to five years in jail, but the judges halved the term because of his guilty plea.

The US consul general in Thailand said the sentence was "severe".

"He was given the sentence for his right of expression, " Elizabeth Pratt told reporters.

"We continue to respect the Thai monarchy but we also support the right of expression which is internationally recognised as a human right."

Activists say the lese-majeste law has become increasingly politicised, and is used as a tool of repression rather than as a way of protecting the monarchy. Royal pardon plea

Gordon, 55, reportedly translated parts of the widely available biography, The King Never Smiles by Paul Handley, several years ago and posted them on a blog while he was living in the US.

He was arrested in May when he visited Thailand for medical treatment.

He initially denied the charges, but said he changed his plea to guilty after being repeatedly refused bail.

After being sentenced, he told the Bangkok court: "I'm not Thai, I'm American. I was just born in Thailand. I hold an American passport. In Thailand there are many laws that don't allow you to express opinions, but we don't have that in America."

His lawyer said he would not appeal against the sentence, but would ask for a royal pardon.

Foreigners convicted of lese majeste are routinely pardoned and deported shortly after being sentenced.

Prosecutions under the law have increased dramatically in recent years, amid chronic political instability.

And the authorities have passed a new law, the Computer Crimes Act, that increases their powers to tackle any perceived insults to the monarchy on the internet or through mobile phones.

Last month a 61-year-old man was jailed for 20 years for sending four text messages that were deemed offensive to the Thai queen.

The man said he did not even know how to send a text message, and rights groups expressed serious concern about his conviction.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 84, is the world's longest-reigning monarch and is revered as semi-divine by many Thais.

Anybody convicted of insulting the king, queen, heir or regent faces long prison sentences.

Just like to take this opportunity, then, to say that the King of Thailand can go pleasure himself with a large stick, as can this weird Orwellian thoughtcrime nonsense.

And I am now Banned In Thailand!

edited 8th Dec '11 11:42:53 AM by TheBatPencil

I couldn't possibly comment.
 2 Clarste, Thu, 8th Dec '11 11:48:23 AM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
The King is the guy pardoning them though, given that foreigners are routinely pardoned. The law is the problem. So basically they're saying "yes, you're technically guilty and have no good defense, but we won't bother keeping you here for it".

 3 The Bat Pencil, Thu, 8th Dec '11 11:50:14 AM from Glasgow, Scotland Relationship Status: I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love
[up] True. I just wanted to take the opportunity to stick it to the people behind it all, even in a small, ultimatley meaningless way.
I couldn't possibly comment.
 4 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 12:00:54 PM from The Marvelous River City
Crazed Lawrencian
Tell me, have you ever been to Thailand?
Proud member of the IAA

What's the point of being grown up if you can't act childish?
 5 The Bat Pencil, Thu, 8th Dec '11 12:24:30 PM from Glasgow, Scotland Relationship Status: I'm just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love
Can't say I have.
I couldn't possibly comment.
 6 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 12:33:31 PM from The Marvelous River City
Crazed Lawrencian
Mm. When you live there for two months, and get an understanding of the political situation there, you can see why the Thai do not take kindly to the King being badmouthed. Because he's one of the few things holding the country together.
Proud member of the IAA

What's the point of being grown up if you can't act childish?
 7 Aceof Spades, Thu, 8th Dec '11 12:48:08 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Even if that's true, a man who's not even a citizen of that country and who committed the act in an entirely different country should not even be arrested for that kind of thing. And they probably only made it a news thing because they decided to prosecute the guy. Now many more people have heard of this blog and this biography; they would have been better off not prosecuting the guy and turning it into an international thing. They need a little common sense; it's one thing to prosecute your own citizens, another when you try to prosecute foreigners. Though I still think it's fucking stupid to prosecute a guy for criticizing the king; this kind of thing can only make the king look bad.
 8 johnnyfog, Thu, 8th Dec '11 1:07:54 PM from NYC Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Not entirely a douche
Thailand doesn't really need to worry about its reputation. Anyway, no harm no foul, so this shouldn't get much airtime.
PHD in Thuganomics
 9 Blue Ninja 0, Thu, 8th Dec '11 2:39:00 PM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Laboriously re-writing my story
I will withhold all statements until after my ship visits there next month. cool
Once the avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to cast their vote. - Ambassador Kosh
 10 Erock, Thu, 8th Dec '11 2:45:44 PM from Toronto
Proud Canadian
Mm. When you live there for two months, and get an understanding of the political situation there, you can see why the Thai do not take kindly to the King being badmouthed. Because he's one of the few things holding the country together

Doesn't permit arresting someone living in a different country for it.
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 11 lord Gacek, Thu, 8th Dec '11 2:53:38 PM from Kansas of Europe
KVLFON
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

In other words, if you visit Vatican, don't expect folks will be happy if you start to shout quotes from The God Delusion. If you visit Belfast, don't shout anything relating to religion. If you visit Germany, don't be surprised if folks bang you for waving a swastika flag.

More generally, being a foreigner doesn't mean you get a free card to break the local law.

[down] Ah. Then it was kind of unwise, like going to Belfast while being known for a strong opinion on the issue.

edited 8th Dec '11 4:26:31 PM by lordGacek

"Atheism is the religion whose followers are easiest to troll"
 12 Erock, Thu, 8th Dec '11 4:03:06 PM from Toronto
Proud Canadian
[up]Gordon, 55, reportedly translated parts of the widely available biography, The King Never Smiles by Paul Handley, several years ago and posted them on a blog while he was living in the US

Well...
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up][up] Yeah, that universal jurisdiction nonsense needs to die on a goddamn fire: Countries don't have no jurisdiction over what foreigners do on foreign soil.
You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 14 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 4:20:44 PM from The Marvelous River City
Crazed Lawrencian
Are you sure about that?
Proud member of the IAA

What's the point of being grown up if you can't act childish?
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up] Unless it's crimes against humanity we're talking about (war criminals are hostis humani generis and can be prosecuted by anyone), yeah.
You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 16 Aondeug, Thu, 8th Dec '11 4:28:53 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
Well this is interesting news...Wonder if it's being talked about at all at the wat...Really should get back to reading about the country. In particular how things are currently going over there. Just having a general sense of "It's shit and the king is just barely holding things together, also meth or something" isn't good enough. And that language. I will learn that language. Alphabet is first since those I find easiest to learn...

edited 8th Dec '11 4:29:30 PM by Aondeug

If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
 17 Colonial1. 1, Thu, 8th Dec '11 4:35:22 PM from The Marvelous River City
Crazed Lawrencian
Thievery, murder, extortion, vandalism... Again, one should obey the law of the land overseas.
Proud member of the IAA

What's the point of being grown up if you can't act childish?
 18 Aondeug, Thu, 8th Dec '11 4:37:21 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
That still isn't good enough for me. Oh. Stuff about the Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, mae ji, and the split opinions on kathoey and LGBT.

Okay...

Yes. READING LIKE A BOSS.

edited 8th Dec '11 4:37:51 PM by Aondeug

If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
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Total posts: 18
1


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