Thursday, December 08, 2011

American Jailed in Thailand for Defaming the Crown

Joe Gordon, a 55-year old American of Thai descent, is in a Bangkok prison today because he translated and then posted online excerpts from a biography of Thailand's king which the government considers defamatory. Gordon (born Lerpong Wichaikhammat) is an American citizen who has lived in the States for 30 years. And he posted the items while in America. However, when he traveled to his native country last May for medical treatment for arthritis and high blood pressure, Thai police nabbed him. He was denied bail repeatedly until, fearful that he would remain doomed in the system forever, he pleaded guilty in hopes of getting a more lenient sentence.

He was given only 30 months in prison. But, he was right; it could have been worse. Thailand's lese majeste laws are among the worst the in the world, demanding long stretches in lousy prisons for saying anything that government thugs deem offensive to the crown. Last month, a 61-year old man was sentenced to 20 years. His crime? Sending four text messages deemed offensive to the crown.

One has to wonder in shame why Hillary Clinton and the U.S. State Department are not protesting to high heaven this outrageous injustice against an American citizen. And one has to wonder if Barack Obama will ever stop fundraising, golfing and and vacationing long enough to finally start speaking out against the egregious abuses of human rights going on around the world.

Here's more from MSNBC.