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Thailand Jails an Australian for Insulting the Monarchy

A court in Thailand has sentenced an Australian writer to three years in jail for allegedly insulting the royal family.

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej along with Queen Sirikit in Bangkok

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej along with Queen Sirikit in Bangkok

The Bangkok Criminal Court found 41-year-old Harry Nicolaides guilty of lese-majesty for a passage in his novel published in 2005, in which he allegedly defamed the crown prince.

Nicolaides was arrested in Bangkok last August and has been in detention ever since.

Speaking to reporters before the verdict was announced, a tearful Nicolaides said he had endured "unspeakable suffering" during five months of detention and that he would like to apologize.

Publicly criticizing or defaming the Thai royal family is a criminal offence in Thailand, and is punishable by a maximum of 15 years in jail.

However, rights groups say the law is stifling freedom of speech.

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  • Date 19.01.2009
  • Author 19/01/09
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  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/LsAI
  • Date 19.01.2009
  • Author 19/01/09
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/LsAI