THAI MAGAZINE EDITOR JAILED OVER CRITICISM OF THAI MONARCHY – Thailand is one of the few countries in the world that has a Constitutional Monarchy and protects the Monarchy from any form of criticism by the press through its draconian Lese Majeste laws.
In basic form it is an offense to write or say anything that is deemed critical of His Majesty or the Royal family with those found guilty of such a crime can be punished by up to 20 years imprisonment.
A well known Thai activist and magazine editor, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, was convicted of writing two articles deemed offensive by the Thai government and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, 5 years for each offence.
Thailand is well known for its highly restrictive practices on what the press may and may not report. While Thailand likes to convey itself as an open and democratic society it is anything but open or democratic. Thailand is a country where control is managed by the Elite, Government and Army who between them systematically control all aspects of governing Thailand in order to increase their personal wealth.
It has long been suspected that the rich and powerful use the Monarchy as a tool in order to suppress the masses and it is widely publicized how the government and military use the Monarchy in order to sway the people’s opinion for their own end.
“The harsh sentence ‘sends the wrong signals on freedom of expression in Thailand. The court’s decision is the latest indication of a disturbing trend in which lese majesty charges are used for political purposes” Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights
With the Thai Government, Army and Elite in full control, Thailand can, and never will obtain any real level of democracy.
Thailand is a developing country and with most developing countries the transition to open and full democracy is often a painful one and one where atrocities of liberty and freedom are often heavily restrict, as is the clear case of Somyot Pruksakasemsuk.
Under normal circumstance, upon being imprisoned for breaches of the Lese Majeste Laws, the lawyers would petition the King for a Royal Pardon. However, in this case, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk has stated that he will not be seeking a Royal Pardon as he wishes his plight to be heard in the world arena in order that the United Nations would intervene to persuade Thailand to finally removed a law that has no place in a free and democratic society.