Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Novelist Jailed for Insulting Thailand's Royal Family

According to an AP story, Australian writer Harry Nicolaides's account of "the turbulent marital relations of [a] fictional prince" was judged to break Thailand's “lese majeste” law, which applies to “whoever defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir to the throne or the Regent.” As a result, 41-year-old Nicolaides has been sentenced to three years in prison. Nicolaides's conviction is part of a recent "crackdown on people and Web sites deemed critical of the monarchy." Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva explains that the Thai monarchy must be protected because of its “immense benefits to the country as a stabilizing force.”

To add insult to injury, Nicolaides's novel, Verisimilitude, only sold seven copies.

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