Quote Unquote: Thai me kangaroo down

An Australian writer has been sentenced to three years in a Thai jail for breaking Thailand’s absurdly strict lèse-majesty law: Harry Nicolaides, 41, of Melbourne, appeared in a Bangkok court yesterday wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, with his hands cuffed and his feet shackled. He has already been in custody for nearly five months.

“He has written a book that slandered the king, the crown prince and Thailand and the monarchy,” the judge told the court.

“He was found guilty under criminal law article 112 and the court has sentenced him to six years, but due to his confession, which is beneficial to the case, the sentence is reduced to three years.”

David Farrar calls this disgraceful. Well, yes. But what shocked me was this: The charge relates to a passage in a self-published novel in 2005 titled Verisimilitude. His family has said that fewer than 10 copies were sold.

Other reports have the total sales at seven copies. Even by the normally dismal results of self-publishing, that’s appalling. Has he no more than seven family members or friends?

Quote Unquote: Thai me kangaroo down