General Question

chelle21689's avatar

Why did an American get arrested for insulting the Thai King?

Asked by chelle21689 (6913points) May 27th, 2011

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/05/27/501364/main20066854.shtml

I found out on yahoo an hour ago but the article is no longer up! Anyways, why did the American get arrested for writing insults about Thailand FOUR years ago while he LIVED IN America? He got arrested when he went to Thailand.

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20 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe it is against the law in Thailand?

YoBob's avatar

Kind of makes you appreciate that whole first ammendment thing we enjoy here in America, doesn’t it?

chelle21689's avatar

But he did it on American soil…??

JLeslie's avatar

But, then he went on Thai soil. Who knows how they look at it over there or what their laws say. I wonder if someone threatened the US President’s life (which is against the law) while living in England, and then travelled to the US, if we would arrest him?

Judi's avatar

I heard a little about it on BBC. Here’s the link

manolla's avatar

but they never cared to arrest the rich men who go there and rape thier little boys, I guess protecting thier citizens isn’t as important as the King’s ego.

WasCy's avatar

@manolla

Well, apparently that is so. You don’t seem to be asking, though, “Why is the king afforded such protection from ‘insult’, while children are raped?” or “How can this be changed?” You’re just ranting, right?

chelle21689's avatar

I don’t get it though. So let’s say if eating dog in Thailand is illegal for example. What if I eat a dog in the United States and travel to Thailand…then I would be arrested???

ragingloli's avatar

Probably a similar reason why the US wants that British Cracker, that hacked into their military network, extradited from England. He did that on English Soil.

chelle21689's avatar

But that was different. It’s like if someone recorded me saying I don’t like thailand’s king and they put it on youtube and then someone arrested me just cuz I said that.

YoBob's avatar

@ragingloli There is quite a difference between saying “the king is a poop head” and publicly, with both malice and forethought, posting information that compromises national security.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob But, if culturally insulting the king is the same as treason, then it would rise to that level. I have no idea if that is the case though. Threatening to attack the US President is the same as threatening national security.

He is a US citizen so it is not treason, but anyway could be seen as a threat I guess.

manolla's avatar

@WasCy Well if there was anything more I could do to change the situation, I would have done it, but the least I could do is to voice my opinon about the matter and the suffering of those voicless victims.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
RareDenver's avatar

Did he have dual citizenship? Both the articles linked state he is a Thai born US Citizen. Maybe if he still retained his Thai Citizenship they may have a legal leg to stand on?

That aside though, Thailand is having some major political issues and even my Thai based family members are confused now as to who has the most legitimate right to form a government there and these situations always spill over and drag in other people.

chelle21689's avatar

I have dual citizenship in Thailand and here lol. I’m visiting for the first time in 13 years next week. I guess I better be careful what I say. I hear it’s illegal to even step on the money because it has the king’s picture

RareDenver's avatar

@chelle21689 yes and if you happen to see the King don’t try and get a good high up spot to take a picture, no one should be higher than the king when he passes, but I’m sure you already know that.

chelle21689's avatar

Thanks for the reminder. I remember being told that but I forgot. I think it’s highly unlikely I’ll be seeing the king though. I’ll be there for 6 days then off to Philippines, lol.

sinscriven's avatar

According to the Wikipedia article on Lese Majeste, the royal family doesn’t even have the legal right to pursue those who are critical of the monarchy, it’s the responsibility of the government and it’s people to do that. So what may have really happened is that someone who is a total fanboy of the crown saw what the American said, and reported it and the Thai authorities had to act on it.

The king himself has publicly stated his disagreement with the lese majeste laws and has pardoned foreigners accused of it before, I imagine this would be no different.

I don’t think where the ‘crime’ was committed has any relevance, doesn’t excuse the crime or make you “out of bounds”. You can bet your neck that if an American citizen went to thailand and indulged in sex with a child, federal agents would be waiting right at the baggage carousel for them upon return.

Hibernate's avatar

Weirder things will happen ^^

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