A Thai with American citizenship arrested for lèse majesté and denied bail

Joe Gordon, 54, has been arrested by the Department of Special Investigation in Nakhon Ratchasima for lèse majesté and computer crimes.  The DSI alleges that he owns a blog which offers a link to download The King Never Smiles.

Over 20 DSI officials arrested him at his house in Nakhon Ratchasima on 24 May at about 10 am, seized his desktop computer and mobile phone, and took him to DSI headquarters in Bangkok for interrogation.

He has been charged by the DSI with lèse majesté, inciting unrest and disobedience of the law in public, and disseminating computer data which threatens national security.

On 26 May, the DSI brought Gordon, his Thai name withheld at his request, to the Criminal Court to ask for him to be remanded. 

The DSI considers that this is an important case, as it believes that he is ‘Nai Sin Sae Jew (นายสิน แซ่จิ้ว)’, the owner of a blog, which was created in the USA in 2007 and has a link to download the banned book The King Never Smiles. 

Gordon denied all charges and contacted the US Embassy.

His friends brought a land title deed worth over 1.7 million baht to place as a bail guarantee, but, in response to objections from the DSI, the court denied bail, citing that this was a serious case concerning national security, and that the accused might tamper with evidence.

He was then sent to Bangkok Remand Prison.

According to Gordon, he lived in Colorado, USA, for over 30 years, and has acquired American citizenship.  He returned to Thailand over a year ago to receive medical treatment for high blood pressure and gout.

He said that he had never thought of returning to Thailand, but due to his illness and the death of his wife who had died from cancer, he decided to come back to receive treatment in his hometown.  

During his stay in Nakhon Ratchasima, he taught English to children.  He said that the authorities had sent a young man to study with him as a spy.  They, however, never discussed politics, he said.

An official from the US Embassy has visited him at the prison, and told him that the embassy will try to help him as much as possible.

Comments

It's not clear from this

It's not clear from this passage -- "During his stay, he taught English to children. He said that the authorities had sent a young man to study with him as a spy" -- where he was staying when the young man was sent. Was he is US or back in Thailand at the time?

During his stay in Nakhon

During his stay in Nakhon Ratchasima...

Sorry about that.

Hard to prove he is the

Hard to prove he is the creator or owner of the blog if it was done from the US unless he's logged in from here. Unfortunately we'll never know about the evidence or the trial as it will be done in secret.

Sentence first - verdict

Sentence first - verdict afterwards

On 26 May, the DSI brought Gordon, his Thai name withheld at his request, to the Criminal Court to ask for him to be remanded... His friends brought a land title deed worth over 1.7 million baht to place as a bail guarantee, but, in response to objections from the DSI, the court denied bail, citing that this was a serious case concerning national security, and that the accused might tamper with evidence.

As Perter Tudders points out, the accusation of lese majeste by the DSI, the Thai Political Police, is equivalent to arrest, trial, and conviction amalgamated.

The Thai 'justice' system is a complete fraud... and the 'elite' so desperate to hang on that they no longer care that they are now seen in the same light as Bangladesh, North Korea, and the Burmese junta.

Having read "The King Never

Having read "The King Never Smiles" I find this beyond idiotic as well as a gross human rights violation, as the book is merely a wonderful history lesson of Thai monarchies/dynasties and their successions throughout history. Adding insult to injury is the fact that this king was born in Americal! Wake up Thailand, America saved you from being colonialized after WWII.

I read the book when abroad

I read the book when abroad and actually, it is much more than just a history of Thailand's monarchy. It also clearly shows the goings-on behind the scenes and the involvement of the military, and many leading figures in Thailand's social, economic and political history...and woes.

It still baffles me that something international, like web sites can be used by Thai authorities to charge people in Thailand. Thailand seems to be allowed to have its tentacles spread throughout the world and nobody of officialdom every speaks out.

I know there are many reasons but in a nutshell, how is the almost total silence from the rest of the world about Thailand's lese majeste laws and the abuse of them against people to be understood?

Thailand not only successfully (until now) manages to silence dissent through threat, persecution and imprisonment within its own borders but is allowed to apply the same threats, persecution and imprisonment for acts abroad, both by its own citizens and foreigners.

Foreigners who speak out in their own countries can be arrested and imprisoned here if and when they arrive. Therefore, when those people's governments accept such acts they are in fact supporting lese majeste themselves.

Well lets see here, if he now

Well lets see here, if he now a U.S. citizen the U.S. Govt. needs to demand his release instead of bowing down to thier level. Soo [...], so i will give my e-mail addy here. sirbillyjones@aol.com,,,,,, do you also need my address and phone number...lol

I expect that the new

I expect that the new fun-loving US Ambassador will react to this news by having some more fun. Being photographed jumping out of an aeroplane perhaps, or being photographed explaining how she just loves Thai food. Or just being photographed.

Instead of doing her job.

She brings new meaning to the word 'vacuous' and adds new dimension to the word 'dopey'.

The question is: Does the

The question is: Does the Thai LM law supersedes the Constitution of the US.?

The man did whatever he was supposed to have done in the US as a US citizen with his rights to freedom of expression guaranteed by the bills of rights and the US Constitution.

If the US respect their own constitution, they must act now.
If they do nothing then they accept jurisdiction of the Thai LM law in the US over the US own constitution.

Do royalists take royals

Do royalists take royals serious themselves? What happened with the once made promise that everyone who would be sentenced for LM would receive a pardon? Probably nothing. The elite is clinging on the last remaining ropes that lead to the power, greed and nepotism that have brought them and their families the fortunes and influence that they posses. The Thai military and judiciary are on par with that of Burma. There are hardly any differences.

Shadow's comments re.

Shadow's comments re. jurisdiction of Thai law is somewhat simplistic but pertinent. US laws extends beyond its borders on many issues...Thai law claims to be able to do so. This is, also, not the first time that Thai authorities have put their unwelcome noses in American constitutional safeguards.

Other Thai intrusions into

Other Thai intrusions into American home freedom include a member representing the Royal household interviewing, inside the US, someone they felt was committing LM there. As well, un-royal comments on an LA TC station led to a group of US-based Thai royalists screaming for blood and actually filing LM charges against a fellow Thai because of his phone in comments to a US based TV/radio station. Police actually proceeded with investigation.