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Thailand Jails Dissident For What People Thought He Would Have Said

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-mime-no-evil dept.

Censorship 325

patiwat writes "A Thai court has convicted a man for censoring himself. In a 2010 anti-government rally, Yossawarit Chuklom said several people were against the dissolution of Abhisit Vejjajiva's government. He mentioned a few names, and then put his hand over his mouth and said he wasn't brave enough to continue. A court ruled that he would have mentioned King Bhumibol Adulyadej — thus earning him a conviction for insulting the King, who is constitutionally banned from any political role."

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325 comments

King Bhumibol Adulyade (5, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625235)

King Bhumibol Adulyade enjoys licking my toes.

Re:King Bhumibol Adulyade (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625255)

Way to miss the point, moderator. Good job protecting us from CLEARLY off topic posts like this.

Re:King Bhumibol Adulyade (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625273)

Are you Rex Ryan's wife?

Re:King Bhumibol Adulyade (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625439)

King Bhumibol Adulyade enjoys licking my toes.

Ha, ha! You got the short end of the deal. You should see what parts of me he licks.

Re:King Bhumibol Adulyade (5, Funny)

Vekseid (1528215) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625461)

King Bhumibol Adulyade enjoys licking my toes.

Ha, ha! You got the short end of the deal. You should see what parts of me he licks.

With a username of 'drinkypoo', I'll pass on that offer, if you don't mind.

Or even if you do.

Re:King Bhumibol Adulyade (-1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625507)

With a username of 'drinkypoo', I'll pass on that offer, if you don't mind.

That's fine, I don't expect everyone to speak colloquial English, or to make original jokes.

Re:King Bhumibol Adulyade (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625655)

Yeah, original jokes like HURR DURR look at what parts of me he licks!11!

Shoot yourself.

Re:King Bhumibol Adulyade (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625897)

King Bhumibol Adulyade enjoys licking my toes.

King Bhumibol Adulyade enjoys ladyboys and Germans. He can go fuck himself. His crown is made of melted ass pennies.

Re:King Bhumibol Adulyade (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625929)

Myself, King Bhumibol Adulyade, a parrot and several albino midget cows had group sex last night. It was awkward, but satisfying. King Bhumibol Adulyade's recent efforts at improving his blow job skills have paid dividends.

Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (1, Troll)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625257)

steaming turd if he allows such crap to happen. One more country I'll never visit. One more country I will avoid when buying things.

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625305)

Glad to hear you've made the move to using only solid state drives or other non-hard drive storage in everything you buy. I still need a few hard drives until large capacity SSDs are affordable, so I'll have to be giving Thailand some of my business.

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (2, Insightful)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625351)

I haven't. That doesn't mean I can't try. At the least, I can minimize what I do buy that comes from Thailand.

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625387)

As long as it doesn't require too much effort, right?

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (0)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625419)

Did AC say anything worth responding to? Nope.

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (4, Funny)

JazzLad (935151) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625677)

but yet you replied ...

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625965)

In fairness, I agree the AC was being a bit of a dick. But the point to which he is reacting emotionally does seem worth exploring.

How far should we, those outraged by this king's treatment of his people, go to do something about it?

If hard disk sales drop 2% due to every existing geek moving to SSDs, will that change the King's mind about anything?

Amazon and Google cannot provide their current level of services at anywhere near the price point that they do if they immediately abandon rotating media, and they dwarf our HD purchases. I am uncomfortably reminded that in the U.S. I'm a citizen, who can bring the fight to the doorstep of big money interests, by voting, buying and referending. On the world stage, I am a peasant who, due to his lack of wealth is no more capable pressuring this king than my centuries back british ancestors were of pressuring theirs.

I don't *like* being reminded of this.

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625567)

Glad to hear you've made the move to using only solid state drives or other non-hard drive storage in everything you buy. I still need a few hard drives until large capacity SSDs are affordable, so I'll have to be giving Thailand some of my business.

Uhhhh....
Tour of Seagate's Drive Factory in China [youtube.com] .

I've also got a hard drive on my desk that says Made in Singapore. I think some may be made in Mexico, too.

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625393)

This is total bullshit! I've decided to stop going to Thailand for any more sex tours. I'll miss those Thai lady boys but this isn't about me, it's about the 99%! We need to legalize weed and provide a basic income to all Americans so this doesn't happen here under the BushClintonBushObama regime.

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625723)

steaming turd if he allows such crap to happen.

He doesn't "allow" it to happen, since he has no role in making or enforcing the laws. In the past, the king has spoken out against political abuse of lese-majesty laws.

One more country I'll never visit. One more country I will avoid when buying things.

I am sure the people persecuting this man will be glad to hear it, since they are part of the opposition to the current government. Your boycott makes as much sense as boycotting the USA because the a court makes a ruling that the Obama administration doesn't like. The government of Thailand is far from monolithic.

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (5, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625763)

Thailand is actually a lovely country to visit - great beaches and diving, friendly people (just don't try to hire them to do work for you unless you understand their work ethic and speak their language), incredible culture, and some awesome things to see and do (visit the "tiger temple" where abandoned or orphaned tiger cubs are raised by humans; it's an incredible experience to go up and pet live tigers). There are also some... other... reasons to visit, ranging from "medical tourism" (dental, in particular, is high quality but orders of magnitude cheaper than in the US) to "sex tourism" (exactly what you think it is).

Their politics, on the other hand, are a complete flaming mess. Stay away from them (fortunately, this is easy; I was there for about five weeks and spent almost all of it out of the cities).

Re:Bhumibol Adulyadej must be a giant (3, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625893)

I think maybe you're uninformed. The king doesn't "allow" such crap to happen. The kind is obviously a figurehead, and a tool. I've never heard that the king accused anyone of badmouthing him. It's all the nincompoops who run the government doing it. If Kingy-Poo objects, those more powerful members of the government who enjoy using the king as their tool will set him straight.

I'd rather be a dirt-poor nobody, right here in America, than to be in Bhum-boy's position.

(Who thinks that Thailand will try to have me extradited for calling their king a Bhum-boy?)

How does cuba have an embargo (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625259)

But Thailand is still where a huge chunk of consumer goods in the U.S. come from? How are the communists so much worse than monarchist totalitarians?

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (3, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625293)

I haven't seen a "Made in Thailand" mark in, it has to be, 15 years. I just looked around at everything in my immediate vicinity, and it is almost all "Made in China", except for this pad of sticky notes that is "Made in USA" and my shoes which are "Made in Philippines"

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (4, Informative)

iserlohn (49556) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625309)

Hard disks - lots of them come from Thailand. Easier to ensure that sensitive technology is kept in-house and not leaked to up-and-coming competitors.

Also tuna fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625421)

Next time you're in a grocery store, look at the packages of tuna fish (StarKist, Chicken of the Sea, other brands). Much of it says Thailand as country of origin, though lately more of it seems to be labeled as coming from Ecuador.

Re:Also tuna fish (1, Funny)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625757)

Please, it's tuna. Just tuna. We already know it's a fish.

Re:Also tuna fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625807)

You can't tune a comment but you can tune a fish.

Re:Also tuna fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625837)

I guess we then also should only say "Thai" instead of "Thailand" because we already know it's a land?

Re:Also tuna fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625947)

Its not just any fish...its tuna fish.

Re:Also tuna fish (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625971)

So when you and your negro welfare family go out to dinner in between your baby daddy's prison sentences, do you order "cat" when you want to order catfish?

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (4, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625487)

Remember how hard drive prices shot up a while ago? And how there was flooding in Thailand just prior to that happening?

That wasn't just a coincidence.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625553)

It's true: King Bhumibol Adulyade caused the flooding.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625589)

Chances are pretty good that if you wear eyeglasses, the lenses were manufactured in Thailand or somewhere nearby.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (0)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625299)

Because a single bullet could solve this problem. Its a lot harder to end an oligarchica dictatorship.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625681)

AFAIK the power is in the hands of the military, they just use the somewhat popular monarch to further their own goals.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625301)

But Thailand is still where a huge chunk of consumer goods in the U.S. come from? How are the communists so much worse than monarchist totalitarians?

They've never challenged the US in the way that Cuba, et al, have (eg, with rhetoric and saber rattling). That's the true mark of an enemy of the US, challenging our manhood.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625743)

That's the true mark of an enemy of the US, challenging our manhood.

The situation was a little more severe than "challenging our manhood", what with the nuclear missiles and all.

Though I'd agree the situation is worth revisiting. Communism failed spectacularly there a long time ago. If we can help the unfortunate, maybe we should. They don't deserve what the communists have done to them.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (4, Insightful)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625311)

Presumably because people are taught from birth that communism is evil but it's okay to invite monarchist totalitarians to the barbeque? And if they're rich and likely to bring plenty booze, so much the better.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (3, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625371)

communism tends to be aggressive towards you.

your average monarchist totalitarian couldn't care less, as long as he lives as king and you don't piss him off.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1, Insightful)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625717)

communism tends to be aggressive towards you.

Citation needed. Seriously.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625825)

Go read a history book. Particularly one written by a firsthand witness.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (2, Informative)

tqk (413719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626017)

communism tends to be aggressive towards you.

Citation needed. Seriously.

You have got to be kidding. Kulaks [wikipedia.org] , a history of the KGB. [wikipedia.org]

This is not to suggest that (so-called) Capitalism isn't every bit as aggressive [wikipedia.org] , or that monarchies are any better.

Geez man, read a book!

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625547)

You keep your guns to ward off monarchists.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625755)

Presumably because people are taught from birth that communism is evil but it's okay to invite monarchist totalitarians to the barbeque? And if they're rich and likely to bring plenty booze, so much the better.

One of the fundamental principles of communism is that it must spread and take over the entire world. Marx himself said that. Communism inherently cannot co-exist peacefully with non-communist countries, not if they are sticking to their ideology even moderately. That's why people are taught from birth that communism is evil. Because it is.

The relevant quote from the end of the Communist Manifesto (Chapter 4 if you want to find it yourself):

The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.

OTOH, most monarchical totalitarians are perfectly willing to let everyone else live in peace so long as their power isn't threatened. Pragmatically speaking, most countries are fine with that so long as they keep their humanitarian fouls to a relative minimum. Other countries only turn their attention towards them when they either a) expand their power by conquering other countries (or threatening to), or b) start murdering lots of people in cold blood. And even those can be ignored if it's politically convenient, since starting war over someone else's problem is... well, frowned upon, at least after the fact, when people notice the bill.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625943)

One of the fundamental principles of communism is that it must spread and take over the entire world.

Yes, the idea is that communism should spread, not that a communistic nation should spread it.
Marx was of the belief that a system so superior would be very popular among the people and that every population that witnessed the splendor of communism would change their nation to this better system.
The overthrowing he mentioned is that of an oppressed population getting rid of their monarch and enforcing a democratic system. (Just like Lenin tried to do. The failure was that Lenin didn't have the support of the people and couldn't install a communism with democratic means.)
This is not much different from what U.S. gun-nuts claims that they want to be able to do but never does.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (4, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625339)

Florida has lots of ex-cubans who hate castro. florida is a battleground state
if a candidate supports lifting sanctions the ex-cuban population is enough to guarantee the loss of those electoral votes

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625395)

It's probably because there are huge number of Cuban Americans that can still remember the firing line executions, lynchings, concentration camps, and outright theft of personal property that occurred during the Cuban revolution. Those are americans who have seen horrors and can never forgive the communist for what they did.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (2)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625727)

Those are americans who have seen horrors and can never forgive the communist for what they did.

That. Was. NOT. Communism.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625847)

You're going to have to learn to live with the fact that political parties and movements take up names, yet often end up taking positions and performing actions contrary to where their name came from, and they will be remembered for those. It also doesn't help if there is a repeating pattern of movements in a particular name going sour in the end. Regardless, brighter people can keep things separate, that there are many factions and flavors of some movements, and the dumb ones that can't keep things separate aren't going to be fixed by arguing with their labeling or risking going down the route of "no true Scotsman."

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625981)

Communism (like any other religion) is not some "thing" separate and apart from the people who claim to adhere to it - it is exactly the actions of those who call themselves communists.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625601)

Because no swing state has a large population of ex-pat Thais to appease.

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1)

Thorodin (1999352) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625729)

But Thailand is still where a huge chunk of consumer goods in the U.S. come from? How are the communists so much worse than monarchist totalitarians?

Communists had a tendency to spread their dogma to other countries whereas monarchists are perfectly happy abusing their own people. Unless, of course, they aspire to abuse everyone such as Mussolini (avoiding H so someone can't sling Godwin's law at me).

Re:How does cuba have an embargo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625907)

I guess you were asleep in history class when names like Urban II, Napoleon, Julius Caesar and Genghis Kahn were tossed around.

Pretty radical view of intent (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625277)

Okay maybe he "thought about it" but clearly did not form the intent to name the rest of those names including the kings because he self censored after all.

It would be kinda like being charged with conspiracy to commit a felony here for talking with some friends about how you go about robbing a bank; in a purely hypothetical manor.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (4, Insightful)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625325)

I can easily see this sort of thing happening in the US. Imagine a group of olive-skinned young men sitting in a cafeteria talking, in a purely hypothetical manor, about potential local terrorist targets and how they would go about hypothetically attacking them.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (5, Funny)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625411)

Hmm... I typoed. Manor should be manner. A hypothetical manor is where I live.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (5, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625451)

That is completely different.

The guy in TFA was sent for a predefined amount of time to a jail within the border of the country that convicted him in a legal trial.

I'm sure none of that would happen to those olive-skinned young men in the US.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625485)

I can easily see this sort of thing happening in the US. Imagine a group of olive-skinned young men sitting in a cafeteria

Given things like two imams pulled from plane bound for North Carolina [cnn.com] I doubt your hypothetical group wouldn't have to do much more than just sitting around before someone called the cops on them ".. because"

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625885)

There is a pretty big difference between some idiots and a private company discriminating superficially against some group, and being charged with something for being a certain way (which in that story, looks like no cops or charges were involved), let alone convicted for such things.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625535)

They wouldn't even have to be olive-skinned. They could even be black. Or lily-white. A bunch of guys, sitting around in public discussing how to attack potential targets, would be rounded up and questioned.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625595)

Not the same. The guy in the article did not insult the king, the court concluded that he thought about insulting the king. There is a big fucking jump between being jailed for talking about doing something, and being jailed for probably thinking about something.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (4, Insightful)

Stewie241 (1035724) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625855)

On the other hand but you could approach the argument the other way. Does he actually have to utter the name in order to communicate something. i.e. if I said something like, I have a strong distaste for recent versions of Windows, especially Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and *censored* then it would be pretty clear what the item was that I was referring to.

I'm not saying that I agree with this sort of law, but I think the headline is rather sensationalist. From what I gather, from the perspective of the prosecution, it should be more like 'Thailand Jails Dissident for what the dissident communicated (non-verbally)'.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (0)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625397)

It would be kinda like being charged with conspiracy to commit a felony here for talking with some friends about how you go about robbing a bank; in a purely hypothetical manor.

I can understand a safe, even a safe room, but why would need a bank in your manor? The reason it's hypothetical is because anyone with the cash to have a bank built in their manor has enough cash to want to keep people away, and, again, enough cash to effectively do so.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (1)

firesyde424 (1127527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625465)

It would be kinda like being charged with conspiracy to commit a felony here for talking with some friends about how you go about robbing a bank; in a purely hypothetical manor.

The sad part about that comment is that this kind of thing does happen in the US. Try walking into any major airport and casually discussing with a friend how could "hypothetically" blow up the airport.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (1)

firesyde424 (1127527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625515)

The sad part about that comment is that this kind of thing does happen in the US. Try walking into any major airport and casually discussing with a friend how could "hypothetically" blow up the airport.

It just occurred to me that our country is so sensitive about that, there is a very real possibility one could find themselves in trouble simply for posting about talking about hypothetically blowing up an airport.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625529)

It would not surprise me if Echelon has already flagged this thread.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625573)

Woohoo! extra gropings for all of us, courtesy of our friends at the TSA.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625587)

Thought Crime.

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (1)

Thorodin (1999352) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625761)

Thought Crime.

Similar to Hate Crime. (i.e. we're adding a few years to the sentence because you think you're superior.)

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625891)

Isn't that what minority report was all about

Re:Pretty radical view of intent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625919)

Why specifically did you place the people in your simile in a fancy house that doesn't exist?

Anyway, your simile doesn't work. It would be more like prosecuting someone for threatening the life of the president by saying, "yeah, I'll walk up to Obama and..." and not finishing the sentence.

I suspect most posters will miss the point (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625279)

The injustice here is that he's being imprisoned for expressing an opinion that involves the King and his role in politics. That's rotten.

I suspect most people here will assume, instead, that the injustice is that he didn't name the King explicitly, but courts tend to make reasonable inferences that people using certain language and gestures intend to communicate a concept even if they don't state it explicitly in ${language}. Just as you couldn't say "One of my co-workers is a pedophile and it's not" ${list of everyone except the person you're refusing to name} without being at serious risk of being sued for libel, likewise it sounds like the dissident made gestures that would only be interpreted in one way by the crowd.

Re:I suspect most posters will miss the point (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625319)

The injustice here is that he's being imprisoned for expressing an opinion that involves the King and his role in politics.

Missed the point? I'm sure we all get the point. There would never have been a posting if it weren't for the point you made.

Re:I suspect most posters will miss the point (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625453)

Your reasoning is wrong.

While it is true that a court can make reasonable inferences, as in your example, that is not what the court did at all. They made a huge jump. While the court claimed to be doing such a reasonable inference, the court was in fact lying through it's fascist, censoring teeth. Only a fool believes the word of a fascist censor.

The question is not what a Thailand, fascist, censoring court would do, but instead what a fair court would do.

The main problem is that the law he is being accused of violating does not say "You can't say the name." If it had, then you and the court would be correct.

No, the law says you can't actually insult or defame the king.

He stopped short of insulting the king. It does not matter that he communicated what he felt about the king, what matters is did he actually insult or defame him.

Yes it was clear he was talking about the king. So what? It is legal to talk about the king. The question is not whether or not he was referring to the king, the question is whether or not he did so in an insulting or defaming manner.

When it comes to insults and defamation, then often it hinges on what the exact words are. When you leave out words, you cease to insult and defame.

If I say "President Bush failed to catch Bin Laden", that is the truth. If I say "President Bush was so incompetent he failed to catch Bin Laden", that is an insult.

If I say "President Bush was so..... he failed to catch Bin Laden", then I have studiously avoided insulting him. Yes, you personally may think I meant to do it, but I refused to actually do it.

The law in question was about insulting and defaming the King. It was not about thinking about insulting or defaming the King. The poor victim thought about insulting and defaming the King, but refused to do so.

As such, he is innocent.

Re:I suspect most posters will miss the point (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625571)

The injustice here is even worse. He's imprisoned for NOT expressing it but the court THINKING he wanted to.

Re:I suspect most posters will miss the point (4, Insightful)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625725)

Most of us are concerned about both injustices. We've become a bit desensitized to people being beheaded for criticizing the king of Siam. Someone being jailed for /not/ criticizing him is a new development which can both bring up dormant disgust at the previous crimes and fresh disgust at the new crimes.

Re:I suspect most posters will miss the point (0)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625901)

The injustice here is that he's being imprisoned for expressing an opinion that involves the King and his role in politics. That's rotten.

And all too common in east Asian countries where, for reasons that escape me, the more common notions of human rights, justice, and simple logic, seem difficult for the locals to grasp. We have a word for that; "backward".

Re:I suspect most posters will miss the point (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626001)

Can't we just agree that both points are valid?

You should not be punished for thinking something. Period. No exceptions.

You should not be punished for "insulting" or "disrespecting" the king, or any other public figure. Period. No exceptions.

Damned (2, Interesting)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625295)

They are damned if they do, damned if they don't. Since they are now a country filled only with criminals, they may as well act like it and make sure all of the government is represented by criminals like themselves.

Of course, I don't have much room to talk... as I live in America, land of the arbitrarily scheduled herbs and weapon restrictions set up to make sure that everyone has bomb making supplies or some other contraband in their homes.

What? (1, Interesting)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625297)

I do not see why the court would be against his self censorship.
I can see jailing someone who was forcibly stopped from saying something that was illegal, there are tons of laws in the west where what someone thinks you would of done is applicable (even if you have not yet committed any crimes).
But it sounds like Thailand wants its citizens to self censor, so why punish it?

Coming here soon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625307)

How long until the SCOTUS references this in future decision?

Re:Coming here soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625959)

I bet you're the type that repeatedly shares pictures on facebook posted by "Obamuh's takin' away are guns and freedom!" type pages.


(the 'are' was intentional)

But that is quite logical... (5, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625327)

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the ninth incarnation of Lord Rama [wikipedia.org] , who himself was the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver of the Universe. His Majesty is omniscient and He knows what everyone is thinking. It might look odd to the West with its mechanistic interpretation of the observable universe. But, rest assured, they know what was on his mind and they know what he would have done. The only thing that perplexes the holistic Eastern minded Thai people is, "Why is His Majesty using the mechanistic physical instruments like courts and jail, like the simple minded Westerners, and is not using His omnipotent powers to punish him directly and demonstrate His powers over nature for all to see?"

Re:But that is quite logical... (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625379)

And His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth incarnation of Lord Rama, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver of the Universe, sayeth unto his people: "why have a dog and bark?"

Re:But that is quite logical... (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625517)

Look at all the titles and decorations he has. Everything from the Grand Cross to the Order of The Peacock, second class.

Look! even the Collar of the Grand Cross of the Order of a Million Elephants and White Parasol (Kingdom of Laos)

Bhumibol has received numerous royal and state orders appropriate to his status. He is the Grand Master of all twelve Thai royal orders. Foreign decorations Cambodia: Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Cambodia, 1954 Burma: The Most Glorious Order of Truth (Thiri Thudhamma Thingaha), 1960 United States: Chief Commander of Legion of Merit, 1960,[101] : Recipient of the Royal Victorian Chain, 1960 Portugal: Grand Sash and Cross of the Three Orders of Christ, Aviz and Saint James of the Sword, 1960 Denmark: Knight with Collar of the Order of the Elephant, 1960 Norway: Grand Cross with Collar of The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, 1960 Sweden: Knight of the Order of the Seraphim, 1960 Germany: Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1960 Italy: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, (22 September 1960)[102] Vatican City: Knight of the Collar of the Order of Pius IX, 1960 Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold, 1960 France: Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur, 1960 Luxembourg: Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau, 1960 Netherlands: Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion, 1960 Spain Collar of the Order of Civil Merit (Spain) - 1960 Indonesia: Order of the Star of the Republic of Indonesia, 1961 Pakistan: The Order of Pakistan (Nishan-e-Pakistan), 1962 Malaysia: Order of the Crown of the Realm (Darjah Yang Maha Utama Kerabat Diraja Malaysia), 1963 Argentina: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of The Order of the Liberator San Martin, 1963 Japan: Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum, 1963 Taiwan: Grand Cordon of the Order of Brilliant Jade, 1963 Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer, 1963 Laos: Collar of the Grand Cross of the Order of a Million Elephants and White Parasol (Kingdom of Laos), 1963 Austria :Great Star of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, 1964[103] Iran: Collar of the Order of Pahlevi (Empire of Iran), 1968 Ethiopia: Knight and Collar of the Order of the Queen of Sheba (Empire of Ethiopia), 1968 Philippines: Order of Sikatuna, 1968 Korea: Grand Order of Mugunghwa, 1981 Nepal: Nepal Pratap Bhaskara, 1986 Spain: Grand Cross Collar of the Order of Charles III, 1987 Brunei: Collar of The Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei, 1990 Laos: Phoxay Lane Xang, 1992[104] Spain: Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Spain), 2006 Foreign State Decorations : Grand Cross of The Most Most Esteemed Royal Family Order of Selangor (Darjah Kerabat Yang Amat Dihormati Kelas Pertama), 1999 : Grand Cross of The Most Distinguished Royal Family Order of Trengganu (Darjah Kerabat di-Raja Terengganu Yang Amat Mulia), 2009

Re:But that is quite logical... (4, Informative)

rwa2 (4391) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625637)

Actually, the king of Thailand is just as censored as anyone else. He's not allowed to speak to his people, and is always silent and muted in public and on TV. All the lese majeste laws are created and enforced by parliament. The Thai monarchy is very much a symbolic post... the only political thing the royal family appears to do occasionally is send flowers to their favored candidates, or sometimes the news media picks up on a certain color they're wearing and interprets it to mean that they support this group - which has led to some hilarity as everyone else starts wearing whatever color to associate themselves with whatever support.

The king is just some Harvard-educated jazz musician. He's probably pretty groovy, we'd never know. Some people blame the queen for starting some of the political upheavals, but I'm guessing it's mostly due to misogyny.

Re:But that is quite logical... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625701)

Nobody in Thailand believes the King is omniscient. Nor do they believe he is the reincarnation of anybody. They are just really uptight about having him disrespected or made into a political football. Which actually isn't as irrational as it sounds, when you consider that it is about the only way you could possibly cause a civil war in this country.

But while laughing at the stupid "easterners", remember that your President and 80% of your countrymen purport to believe that after death they will be brought back to life by a magical carpenter who was nailed to a tree 2000 years ago, that a 900 year old man fit a breeding pair of every single animal species on a boat he built himself, and that the greatest ethical issue of our time is whether or not the government should issue marriage certificates to two blokes. Significantly stupider convictions than the invented ones the parent post finds so amusing.

Also check out what happened (and how many people died) when the dissidents he was addressing tried to burn down Bangkok shortly after this. Then try and tell me they wouldn't have found something to convict him for in the US too.

Re:But that is quite logical... (2)

HPHatecraft (2748003) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625719)

I would mod your comment slightly funny, overwhelmingly ignorant. Good job playing off of broad stereotypes.

Firstly, Adulyadej doesn't enforce these rules. He has publicly stated he that invites criticism [nationmultimedia.com] .

Disingenuous? Perhaps, but when you take that comment in context -- the fact that he is a figurehead without any actual power, and he has demonstrated a nobles oblige [bbc.co.uk] that, I am guessing, few contemporary monarchs have matched-- then I tend to believe he is speaking honestly.

From what I have read about him, he genuinely cares about his people. He has an inquisitive mind, and while I wouldn't call him a polymath, his interests are varied and deep. That mindset doesn't lend itself well to someone who lacks perspective and self-insight -- qualities you typically will not see in a despot.

Re:But that is quite logical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625913)

How in the world did you recognize the humor, and fail to understand that it was probably the intent of the post - not indicative of ignorance?

I'd say 'whoooosh', but the point is so far away it would be impossible for you to hear it.

Re:But that is quite logical... (1)

HPHatecraft (2748003) | about a year and a half ago | (#42626013)

I think the line "His Majesty is omniscient and He knows what everyone is thinking. It might look odd to the West with its mechanistic interpretation of the observable universe. But, rest assured, they know what was on his mind and they know what he would have done." says it.

Adulyadej isn't involved in this process, it isn't his decision. But thanks for sharing.

Re:But that is quite logical... (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625835)

Oh please, it's also true in western courts that an insult does not have to be explicit. An implied insult, or embarrassing someone in a way everyone understands without spelling the name out is perfectly liable to prosecution unless protected by free speech rights (which may not be the case if it is repeated, connected to a financial loss or just slander).

Reminds me of kids (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625331)

My daughter used to tease my son when they were little calling him "monkey face". One day a monkey came on children's TV and my son turned round and said "mum, dad, can you tell her off ... I know what she's thinking".

Seems some people don't grow up

Imprison the judge (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625353)

By convicting people for insulting the king, isn't the judge implying that the king isn't strong enough to stand up for himself? If someone did that to me, I'd be pretty insulted. Throw the judge in jail!

Right? If no one is allowed to say or even IMPLY anything critical of the king (which the king himself said should be allowed, according to a quote in Wikipedia) then that should apply to the judges as well.

Minority Report (1)

foma84 (2079302) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625385)

What's our next product to export?

That won't happen in the US (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625615)

But don't try to joke, suggest, or even imply the word "bomb" in an airport or a plane. Even mentioning a related joke on Twitter [washingtonpost.com] could give you troubles.

Re:That won't happen in the US (1)

spike1 (675478) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625711)

"Now where did I put that thing to blow up the aeroplane?... "
Pulls out a hand pump and an inflatable toy plane.

Send them to USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625651)

During the original 13 colonies of the USA, British government sent inmates and people that was convicted to jail time to USA. I think it's time for Thailand to step-up and advance it's form of government and send their prisoners to other countries.
Kicking citizens out of the country is worse than wanting to keep them for what they say & might say.

Standard practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625745)

I thought that was the point of jail. To prevent people from doing what you think they might do in the future. That's in the definition of a "threat to society." If you were to actually punish someone, it would be a rehabilitative measure - not a jail sentence. No one sits in jail and "thinks about what they have done." Jail just helps the rest think that you might not do what they think you might do.

Thought crime (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42625815)

That's basically what this amounts to...

Okay, it's not exactly the same as what was in the book 1984,but they still arrested him only for what he was thinking (in actuality, really only what they believe that he thought, but even giving them the benefit of the doubt that they were right, this still amounts to arresting somebody because of what they were thinking).

Putting that aside for a moment, the point that the court really needs to consider here is that he DIDN'T.... period. Even if they are entirely right about everything, and he really thought about it, or even if he really wanted to.... he DIDN'T.

So, in the end, again, assuming that they are entirely correct here, the only thing that they could ever hope to say is that he thought about doing what he was accused of.

Which, once the implications of that are realized by the population, I dare say that a not entirely percentage of them will also be guilty of.

the King isn't banned from a political role (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42625817)

"the King, who is constitutionally banned from any political role."
This is just a myth often used by royalists who'd like to pretend that the Monarchy is pro-Democracy.

In fact, the 2007 Constitution grants sweeping powers to the King. Nearly nothing can happen without the legal approval from the King.

Verify yourself:
www.senate.go.th/th_senate/English/constitution2007.pdf

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