The Nation



Okay, and let's talk about US, UK hypocrisy

Re: "Let's talk about lèse-majesté", Letters, December 6.

There is no doubt that freedom of speech, and therefore freedom of the press, should take the place of restrictions that some Thais place on others through the lèse-majesté law, but other societies are also at fault.

For instance, US Army private Chelsea (born Bradley) Manning, received 35 years in prison for what many perceive as simply practising freedom of speech. And, worse, Manning never received a legitimate trial with a legitimate jury.

In effect there is a US equivalent to the lèse-majesté law that allows the military to ignore the Constitution by denying proper justice to those who might well be acquitted, but not by uniformed kangaroo courts.

Granted, there are problems in Thailand with the application of the lèse-majesté law, but Americans and British (with their Official Secrets Act) appear to have no basis for criticism.

Give me the Thai lèse-majesté law rather than US and UK hypocrisy any day.

Guy Baker


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