'There is no justice in Thailand'Submitted by prachatai on Thu, 21/07/2011 - 01:16
It is 63 days since Joe Gordon was first incarcerated, and despite this, he seems considerably well. "Yes, it took a long time, but I've started receiving some medicine now, and it's working," he says.
Joe, a long-time sufferer of both arthritis and high-blood pressure, entered Bangkok's Remand prison considerably weakened. Denied access to his regular medication, the pain proved so debilitating, as to render him unable to walk without assistance. He could not, at mealtimes, rush to the food troughs; in the overcrowded setting, the last prisoners to arrive will often go without.
The inability to walk, it seems, aged Joe Gordon, far beyond his fifty-four years.
This has changed. Given he can now walk without assistance, his cheeks are fuller, and his eyes brighter; the ragged prison crewcut is growing out, giving his face a more rounded edge. He looks, in short, well.
And yet, the physical belies the emotions beneath. "I feel better in my body, but so much weaker in my mental health," Joe says. "I feel that in weeks past, I'm getting in, deeper and deeper. I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. I've never known a depression like this. This has been the most difficult period of my life, and I don't know how, or when, this is going to end. And I can't bear it."
"They keep telling me: 'keep quiet, keep quiet'. Why should I? I'm tired of keeping silent. When I get out of here, I will tell the world: there is no justice in Thailand. Innocence until guilt is proved does not exist here. I'm a U.S. citizen, who entered the country on my U.S. passport." He stiffens in his chair, and presses a finger to the glass. "I'm not Thai anymore, and I have not been, for a long time."
Joe Gordon has now been denied bail some five times in the Thai courts. At his last bail hearing, he felt he could not contain his frustration, and instead turned to the judges.
"I told them: 'You are officers of the law. The DSI charged me because of a U.S. website. I am innocent of these charges. Even so, how can anyone think that a website outside of Thailand is within Thai jurisdiction? If you believe in justice, how can you justify my imprisonment? There is nothing about this situation that is fair. This would never happen where I live - in the United States, where there is freedom of expression, and a man has a chance to prove he is innocent."
"The judges told me: 'We are trying to improve the justice system, you know, this is under Thai law.' I told them that I didn't believe it, and that if that they really believed in justice, then they could begin with the release of political prisoners."
Since his imprisonment began back in May, Joe has long since maintained his innocence.
He has again applied for bail, and expects his case to be heard on July 24.