Well, the verdict is in. A Thai court has sentenced American citizen, Joe Gordon, to two and a half years in jail after being found guilty of ‘lese majeste’ — saying or doing something that, in Thailand, is deemed offensive to the royal family. Joe Gordon’s crime? While he was living in America, he put a link on his website to a book about the King that’s banned in Thailand, (yes, Thailand also bans books), and translated some sections of it from English into Thai. He was arrested in Bangkok when he traveled to Thailand for medical treatment.
Anybody else see a boycott of Thailand by tourists coming on, after person after person is being convicted of lese majeste in Thailand this year? Unfortunately, we think it’s highly likely.
We’ve already had one friend cancel her planned Christmas trip to Thailand because, as a writer, she refuses to support or spend money in a country that does this. We’re guessing millions of other people world-wide feel the same way. Our friend decided to spend her Christmas vacation in England instead. Other friends too are telling us they’ll be staying away.
Meanwhile, we’re betting Joe Gordon regrets the day he ever left America. After all, as a country, America may have many faults but one of the best things about America is the right to freedom of speech.