U.S. Citizen Gets Two-and-a-Half Year Jail Sentence for Insulting Thai King

The AP reports:

An American who translated a banned biography of Thailand’s king and posted the content online while living in Colorado was sentenced to two and a half years in a Thai prison Thursday for defaming the country’s royal family.

The verdict is the latest so-called lese majeste punishment handed down in the Southeast Asian kingdom, which has come under increasing pressure at home and abroad to reform harsh legislation that critics say is an affront to freedom of expression.

The 55-year-old Thai-born American, Joe Gordon, stood calmly with his ankles shackled in an orange prison uniform as the sentence was read out at a Bangkok criminal court.

The New York Times says:

A Thai court on Thursday sentenced a U.S. citizen to two and a half years in prison for insulting King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the latest case in the government’s crackdown on criticism of the monarchy.

Joe Gordon, who was born in Thailand but has lived in the United States for the past three decades, was convicted of translating and posting to the Internet portions of a book, “The King Never Smiles,” which is published by Yale University Press and banned in Thailand.

The BBC has a short video and a text story:

Thailand has jailed a US citizen for two and a half years after he admitted posting web links to a banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Joe Gordon, a used car salesman from Colorado who was born in Thailand, admitted lese-majeste, or insulting the king, at an earlier hearing.

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