Joe Gordon, 55 year old Thai born US citizen was sentenced to two and a half years in prison by a court in Thailand for posting excerpts of the biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej which has been banned locally. He has been detained since his arrest in May. The American pleaded guilty in October and due to this the Criminal Court reduced his sentence to two and a half years from five years.
Bhumibol is the world’s longest reigning monarch and he is highly respected in Thailand. Thailand’s “lese majeste” laws or the laws against defaming the monarchy which includes the king, the queen and the heir to the throne are said to be the harshest laws in the world. Punishment includes 3 to 15 years in the prison. The country has increasingly been pressurized by the other countries to amend their laws in relation to this. In this country people are put in prison even if they don’t have any proof.
Report by Priyanka S Menon