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US Citizen Visiting Thailand Arrested For Blog Posting 456

Posted by timothy
from the otherwise-I'd-like-to-go dept.
societyofrobots writes "A US citizen, upon visiting Thailand for medical treatment, was arrested for lese majeste (insulting the king) and computer crimes ('entering false information into a computer system'). He is charged for posting a link on his blog to a banned book, The King Never Smiles, and for translating excerpts of it. He made the posting four years ago in 2007, while in the US. Trials for lese majeste are traditionally held in secret, for reasons of 'national security'. AFP has more information."
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US Citizen Visiting Thailand Arrested For Blog Posting

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  • "lese majeste" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koreaman (835838) <uman@umanwizard.com> on Sunday May 29, 2011 @05:29PM (#36281862)

    Latin for "law that let's us put whoever the fuck we want in jail"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @05:35PM (#36281912)

    The king of Thailand is a dirty bastard who fucked a chicken. On multiple occasions. In the ass.

  • ._. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @05:35PM (#36281914)

    This is why you research the laws of the place you are visiting before you make the actual visit.

  • Re:jurisdiction? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Splab (574204) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @05:47PM (#36281998)

    "places like that"?

    Like the US? India? UK? All countries currently trying to extract (or recently did) people for committing a crime that didn't break any local laws.

  • by accessbob (962147) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @06:15PM (#36282202)
    You're comparing drug smuggling and free speech? Which planet are you from again?
  • Re:"lese majeste" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 29, 2011 @06:31PM (#36282312)

    "He did that years ago, in the US, and he's a US citizen. Translating part of a book shouldn't ban you from a country forever."

    Yeah, and I'm sure US will be really happy to let you in if they'd known you're been translating and promoting "terrorist" and anti-US books before.

    He is lucky it was the authorities who catched him. If he was going around talking bullshit about the king there would had been a really good change the locals would have seriously kicked his ass or even beat him up so much that he dies.

    And don't start talking about how speech is free in the US (except when it's not), because different cultures value different things. US has some serious problem with trying to make everyone think and do what they say. Would you just leave rest of the world fucking alone?

    And frankly, I love living in Thailand. But I'm not a little kid who has to do something just because he is told he is not allowed to.

  • Re:"lese majeste" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by uofitorn (804157) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @06:35PM (#36282340)
    The parent posted something that you disagree with and you advocate for his death? That sounds absurd to me too.

    Translating a book shouldn't ban you from a country forever. Posting a comment on slashdot shouldn't sentence you to death.
  • Re:"lese majeste" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @09:11PM (#36283176) Journal
    Many Americans do, indeed, believe that there should be some restraint on flag burning. They are goose-stepping pricks. Luckily, the chaps who wrote the constitution we smarter than they are, and those ugly, atavistic, elements of our culture Just Don't Get What They Want. Same for the "I feel strongly about deity X, so all criticism of deity X must be forbidden" crowd.

    To be perfectly honest, I have absolutely no problem applying my standards(some of which are, albeit imperfectly, reasonably close to qualifying as "American") to another culture. If the Thais wish to be self restrained, I wish them all the best. If they wish to restrain the speech of those who they don't think are self restrained enough, fuck them and the horse they rode in on.

    The world over, I respect the right of people to respect whatever they fancy(though I agree with some and mock others for doing so, depending on what they chose). However, I nowhere respect the right of anybody to compel others to display 'respect' for their chosen object, whether it be the flag, the nation, the monarch, the god, the literary masterpiece. If this makes me an insensitive, cultural-imperialist prick, so be it. At least I'm an equal-opportunity bigot.
  • Re:"lese majeste" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @10:16PM (#36283478) Journal

    He is lucky it was the authorities who catched him. If he was going around talking bullshit about the king there would had been a really good change the locals would have seriously kicked his ass or even beat him up so much that he dies.

    You're still missing the point. He didn't say or publish anything offensive about Thai king while in Thailand. His "crime" was committed at a different time, long ago, and entirely outside the borders of Thailand, nor did it involve citizens of Thailand. Any claims of jurisdiction in such a case are pure bullshit. For that matter, how was he supposed to know back then that something he did was against the law somewhere else in the world? Are you sure that you've never committed a crime in some country you've never been at in your life?

    That's absurd. Respecting the laws of some country when and while you're visiting it is perfectly fine, but that's not what happened here at all, and no bullshit about "different cultures" is going to hide this.

    Say what; how about we arrest all married males from Iran travelling through Western countries on suspicion of child molestation (what with age of consent there being 9 years for girls); and if their wives - even if not travelling with them - are younger than whatever is the age of consent in the country of detention, we put them on trial as pedophiles? Because that would be roughly as meaningful.

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