Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Australian Professor Jailed in Thailand for Innuendo

From the CHE:
A Thai court today sentenced an Australian lecturer, whose fictional novel depicted a member of the royal family in an unflattering light, to a three-year jail term for insulting the monarchy, the Associated Press reported.

Harry Nicolaides,
who taught English and social science at Mae Fah Luang University, in northern Thailand, was found guilty of “lèse-majesté,” the notion that offending the dignity of a ruler constitutes a crime. A passage in his self-published book, Verisimilitude, which reportedly sold fewer than 20 copies, suggested that the crown prince had abused his mistresses.
FWIW, more books will probably be sold now. Do read the comments at the bottom, as Commentator #1 on the link provides the passage in question.

Also amazing is, as always, how quickly the commentators at CHE become batshit crazy.

Here is comment #2 on this story:
Irredeemably racist Americans have nothing to say about this Thai law. They must be tolerant, respectful, and sensitive to diverse cultures—except THE perniciously evil one of the U.S. Indeed, the U.S. should be celebrating the diversity of Thai freedom of speech laws, far different from U.S. laws that sadly fail to criminalize hate speech. CELEBRATE DIVERSITY!
And #4:
Yes, and let this be a lesson to any MLA-type who wishes to insult and bring disgrace upon royalty of any kind. We should all hope to fill American jails with insulting English profs. I can give evidence for quite a few of them. Better, Off With Their Heads!
Jumping JC, people! You would think a website primarily read by academics would be better than this, but I frequently find that it is the worst.

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