Thai academic flees to England to escape lese majeste charge

AP: “Thai academic accused of insulting monarchy flees“:

A prominent academic facing 15 years in prison for allegedly insulting Thailand’s monarchy fled to England, saying Monday he does not believe he will receive a fair trial.

Ji Ungpakorn, a political scientist at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, was charged last month under the so-called lese majeste law over a book about Thailand’s 2006 military coup. His case is the latest in a spate of prosecutions and increased censorship of Web sites allegedly critical of the royal family.

“There is no justice in Thailand,” said Ji in an e-mail sent Monday to The Associated Press. “The regime seems to be inching toward a police state.”

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy but has severe lese majeste laws, mandating a jail term of three to 15 years for “whoever defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir to the throne or the Regent.”

So far there’s nothing in the Bangkok Post or the Nation. But stay tuned.

Published by Newley

Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I'm reading, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. For updates, get my weekly email newsletter.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *