We have previously discussed the assault on free speech around the world, including in the West. The Thai courts have added to this ignoble trend by sentencing American Joe Gordon, 55, to two and half years for “defaming” the Thai Royal Family. Defamation law is quite different in other countries, including close allies like Italy, France, and England, and often used to punish critics of the government. Gordon was convicted for simply posting a link to an unapproved biography of the King. It is an example of the outdated use of lese majesty offenses — offense against the dignity of a sovereign.
Gordon only succeeded in lowering the sentence from five years by pleading guilty.
Notably, he was convicted for an act that occurred while he was living in the United States. He was jailed when he went to Thailand for treatment for arthritis and high blood pressure.
The sentence is an abomination and should shock the conscience of the free world. The fact that the King has allowed this prosecution to go forward without asking for charges being dropped only shows that he is beyond contempt. This sentence not only shows the dangerous folly of lese-majesty laws but of royalty generally.
Source: LA Times
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