Harry Nicolaides, lese-majeste : free at last

In jail since beginning of september for lese-majeste… Harry Nicolaides has been given “royal pardon” friday. He left for Australia.

Free at last.

Let’s hope that it will be the last case involving a foreigner sent to jail. Thailand can’t afford such bad international publicity.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, the lese-majeste law will probably continue to make victims… in Thailand.

(Nation, Bangkok Pundit)

Nicolaides said he would write another book detailing his ordeal. “I’m angry and frustrated and perplexed at my treatment,” he said. “I’m tired and exhausted and I’ve got a mother to go and see who’s lost the power of speech.” (The Age)

The Age has also a video of  Nicolaides arrival.

“Thank you for your effort. Australian media have been dauntess and courageous. I really appreciate your efforts. We enjoy rare privileges in this country.

[… about a new book] The truth is stranger than fiction”.

10 Responses to “Harry Nicolaides, lese-majeste : free at last”

  1. 1 J. Ellis 22 February 2009 at 7:41 pm

    “The truth is stranger than fiction”. I agree, but who is going to get the truth, or the whole truth in Thailand? Even if you do discover something and see all the evidence to support it, no-one will believe you. The powers that be will see to it that you have no credibility or you will simply disappear. All Thais are prisoners, and there is no way out for them without a revolution. Any foreigner in Thailand, whether short-term or long term, is at a risk like nowhere else on the planet. Why do many foreign governments kow tow to the Thai ‘Authority’? They are afraid – Why? The reason lies in the power of money. Certain concentrations of wealth and their origins are beyond the comprehension and belief of most people. Only a few know, and they also know that the truth cannot be allowed to come out.

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 22 February 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Sure… but you can’t deny that Nicolaides… is (now) in a position to speak out… freely.

    He has the means… and probably the motivation… And he must be a little bit… angry (his mother had a stroke… any son would draw a link between his ordeal in jail and this accident)… Therefore, he could do some damages. To Thailand’s image.

    And his story is certainly “stranger than fiction“…

    5 months in the medieval thai jail… for a mere book that a dozen of people ever read… and an inane law designed to protect the royal family even though the King himself has indirectly taken out any substance of it (by saying that the King could be criticized).

    There is without any doubt… serious material for a good book.

  3. 3 Fish 23 February 2009 at 11:16 am

    Who or which one of the ever changing governments made this law ?With the government/leaders changing in this country at the same rate that i change my socks,must be the only law they still enforce to the letter.

    Shame the government does not make some laws to improve things in this country, ie laws to sort out the so called police force , should not even be called A police force..

    Goes to show even with the power the King has he is not listened to on this law matter. This country will never be a free democratic place with laws like this.A revolution is needed here its the only way but then again they would proberly screw that up..

  4. 4 ThaiCrisis 23 February 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I don’t have a link right now… But this law was designed of course by the military at the beginning of the 70s (correct me if I’m wrong).

  5. 5 World Citizen 23 February 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Current lèse majesté laws


    Laws regarding lèse majesté in Thailand have been in the Thai criminal code since 1908 and have also been enshrined in every Constitution the Kingdom has ever had. The present charter simply reads: “The King shall be enthroned in a position of revered worship and shall not be violated. No person shall expose the King to any sort of accusation or action.” The Thai Criminal code further states in Article 112: “Whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, Queen or the Heir-apparent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to 15 years.”

  6. 6 ThaiCrisis 23 February 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Correction : I was confusing with the custom to stand up in movie theaters during the royal anthem.

  7. 7 World Citizen 23 February 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Thailand also respects the Royal Families and Head of States of other countries:

    Section 133 of the Criminal Code:
    Whoever, defaming, insulting or threatening the Sovereign, Queen, Consort, Heir-apparent or Head of Foreign State, shall be imprisoned from one to seven years or fined from two thousand to fourteen thousand baht, or both.

    So, be careful what you say against Her Majesty the Queen (of England) or, the President of the United States!

    long live H.M. The King of Thailand

    Section 135 forbids the burning of flags – shall be punishable with imprisonment up to two years.

  8. 8 World Citizen 23 February 2009 at 5:12 pm

    The custom to stand up in movie theaters during the royal anthem:

    Thailand imported the ritual from Britain, which in the 1910s regularly showed silent clips of King George V to the tune of “God Save the King” being played in theaters to whip up nationalist sentiment during World War I. The Brits scrapped the practice in the 1960s, but Thais started playing the Royal Anthem before movies in the 1970s and continue to do so today.

  9. 9 Fish 24 February 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks for that World Citizen.I think it is a good thing to have people pay respect to the Royal family of any country, I do laugh to myself (Standing).. at some of those films clips esp the one of the men pushing the broken down bus with a policeman watching and then some back slapping..like that would happen !?

  10. 10 B 12 February 2010 at 3:07 am

    Who’s behind Lese Majeste in Thailand? I understand it first appeared in the 1908 Const, but what’s the need for it? What’s the relation between the law, monarch and state? Is there outside diplomatic pressure, enforcing this law?

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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