Posted in art, prison | 35 Comments »
Australian writer Harry Nicolaides was sentenced on 19 January 2009 to three years in prison for breaking Thailand’s lèse majesté law, which establishes criminal penalties for denigrating Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej or members of the Thai royal family. Apparently Nicolaides wrote something in a book which less than a dozen people ever purchased which was interpreted as a violation of the law. He pled guilty to avoid a longer sentence.
Bhumibol, usually referred to as “revered” by the Thai people, seems to be in the habit of pardoning foreigners convicted of lèse majesté, as he did in the case a few years back of a Swiss man sentenced to ten years for spray-painting over posters of the King’s face while drunk. Not so lucky, it seems, are native Thais, who for uttering a few words or putting together a series of images or any number of other otherwise innocuous acts can find themselves in prison for three to fifteen years under some of the most horrible conditions imaginable. Hang in there, Harry.
Fuck kings, and fuck Bhumibol. There, I said it. Further, the images here should make me persona non grata in Thailand so long as the idiotic lèse majesté law survives. Placing images of other people above that of the King: verboten. Juxtaposition of King with feet: offensive. Thirteen feet: unlucky.
Now I gotta think up some way to insult Turkishness…