Harry Nicolaides was sentenced to three years in jail today after pleading guilty to lese-majeste charges of defaming Thailand’s royal family under criminal law 112. Nicolaides has spent the last four months in jail awaiting trial and although he didn’t elaborate he said he had endured “unspeakable suffering”. The judge actually gave Nicolaides 6 years in prison but knocked it down to 3 because he confessed.
The charges stemmed from his 2005 self published book Verisimilitude, which he describes as a commentary on political and social life in contemporary Thailand. The book had a printing of only 50 copies with only 7 confirmed sales. Nicolaides was arrested at the Bangkok airport upon arriving in August.
Nicolaides apologized and said he respected the king of Thailand but he didn’t believe the obscure laws would apply to him.
Hopefully if everything goes well he should get a royal pardon like those in the past found guilty of the lese-majeste laws in Thailand. The king himself has stated that the lese-majeste law is not needed so why does Thailand still cling to this archaic set of laws?
Thailand has struggled for a very long time with it’s democracy and in this regard it has failed utterly. In the past two years Thailand has demonstrated to the world through it’s politics that it doesn’t understand democracy nor is it willing to. Democracy isn’t protesting the government until a judge steps in and calls for new elections…democracy is about compromise for the betterment of the country.
Thailand’s politicians and judges think that by banning websites and arresting anyone that speaks about the royal family they will quell the voices speaking out, or perceived to be speaking out, against Thai politics. Instead they will spark more commentary and more outrage in the world at their archaic ass backward ways stumbling into the twenty first century.
Maybe Thailand should think about reverting to a full fledged Monarchy. At least that way they can cling to their archaic laws without pretending to resemble a democracy.
Release Harry Nicolaides now…he’s suffered enough for mere words written on a page and more than enough for any Thai politicians feelings of inadequacy.