The Nation

Thai-US citizen arrested over link to banned book

A Thai-born dual Thai-US citizen and passport holder was arrested and detained without bail on Thursday for allegedly putting up a computer link to the content of the banned book "The King Never Smiles" on his blog.

Joe Gordon, 54, who asked that his Thai name not be revealed, told a Prachatai online newspaper reporter yesterday morning that he was having difficulties adjusting to Bangkok Remand Prison and that he was worried about the cleanliness of the drinking water.It was confirmed that a US Embassy staff member visited Gordon yesterday morning at the prison but The Nation was not able to reach the press officer assigned to comment officially.Gordon, who had been living in Nakhon Ratchasima province, returned to Thailand about a year ago for health reasons. Prachatai quoted him as saying he had lived in North Carolina for 30 years. He denied committing lese majeste on the Internet. Gordon was arrested and taken from Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok by the Department of Special Investigation. It was the latest in a spate of arrests for lese majeste over recent months, most visibly involving red-shirt leaders.Readers of Prachatai reacted in different ways to the arrest.One reader said the refusal to grant bail to Gordon was too severe. Another reader said more Thais would be curious about the content of Paul Handley's book "The King Never Smiles" as a result, while another said Gordon "ought not to be regarded as a Thai" for what he had allegedly done.

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