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  1. #1
    Old Hand มือเก่า DavidJohn's Avatar
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    As seen in the Nation
    Thai court sentenced an Australian to three years in jail on lese majesty charge on Monday.
    The court's ruling came as Harry Nicolaides pleaded guilty on the charge. He wrote a novel in 2005 which concerned royal activities. Nicolaides was led barefoot into courtroom 811 in the Bangkok criminal court, chained by the leg and the wrist to another inmate, ABC news online reported.

    Careful what you write guys!

  2. #2
    Member สมาชิก
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    There is an article today in the "Comment is Free" section of the Guardian's website (Guardian Unlimited, www.guardian.co.uk about Thailand's lese-majeste laws.

    It is quite measured (as befits the Guardian), though a bit simplistic.

    It will be interesting to see what comments it draws.
    Sometimes (especially lately on economic matters) a wide and deep debate ensues on that site.

  3. #3
    Premium Member Marcus's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I couldn't find the "Comment is Free" piece - do you have a direct link to it (rather than just to the paper's front page)?

    But I did find this letter published in the Guardian today. But no comments facility I'm afraid.

    Freedom under threat in Thailand

    We wish to express our deep concern at the decision of the Thai special branch to prosecute associate professor Giles Ji Ungpakorn of the political science faculty at Chulalongkorn University, with lèse majesté - that is, with insulting King Bhumibol. Mr Ungpakorn is a well-known commentator on Thai politics widely quoted in the international media (Ready, steady ... quit, 10 September 2007). The charge arises from his book A Coup for the Rich, published last year. In that book he criticised the coup of 19 September 2006, in which the military seized political power in Thailand.

    Mr Ungpakorn argued that the army, along with the rest of the Thai establishment, used the monarchy to legitimise its political interventions. This is the kind of analysis that political scientists make as a matter of course, but various bookshops withdrew the book from circulation, forcing Mr Ungpakorn to make it available on the internet. Now his academic freedom and basic citizenship rights have come under more serious attack with this prosecution. Lèse majesté has fallen into disuse in most of the world as a relic of the pre-democratic past. Thailand is an exception.

    Lèse majesté carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, and MPs from the government party headed by Abhisit Vejjajiva, which came to office thanks to the connivance of the army, want to increase this to 25 years. So the prosecution of Mr Ungpakorn represents the most fundamental attack on freedom of speech. We demand that the charges against him are unconditionally withdrawn.

    Prof Luc Boltanski
    École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris

    Prof Dennis Brutus University of KwaZulu-Natal

    Prof Alex Callinicos King's College London

    And 123 others
    The Guardian, Friday 23 January 2009

  4. #4
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Rich & Orasa's Avatar
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    For anyone who is interested, the text of the Ungpakorn book in question can be download via this link.

    For more background on the author, click here

    For more background on the author's father, click here

  5. #5
    Founder Member Lee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link to the book Rich

    Lee

  6. #6
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Rich & Orasa's Avatar
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    Giles Ungpakorn as fled to England fearing an unfair trial and a hefty prison sentence.

    Link

  7. #7
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Rich & Orasa's Avatar
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    Harry Nicolaides on life in prison:

    Link

    Let's hope he gets his pardon soon.

  8. #8
    Old Hand มือเก่า DavidJohn's Avatar
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    Reported in the Sydney Morning Herald Australian writer Harry Nicolaides has been recommended for a royal pardon by Thai corrections officials to end his imprisonment for lese majeste.
    Nicolaides was sentenced on January 19, 2009 by the Criminal Court for insulting the monarchy in a book he wrote.

    The Australian was arrested last August just as he was about to leave for Melbourne after a visit to Thailand, where he used to teach school. He remained in custody until the final hearing last month, when he was found guilty of lese-majeste laws.

    Corrections Department officials told the Australian Associated Press that a recommendation for Nicolaides to receive a Royal Pardon from His Majesty the King is underway.

    -- Bangkok Post 2009-02-17

  9. #9
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    Reported on the TV he has beend pardoned so why go through this patomime in the first place? This only makes the country more of a laughing stock and damages the countries rep abroad. Ask foriegners now what's the first thing they think of about Thailand these days and after prostitution it's people ending up in prison for no good reason.

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