Fear of Flying: Joe Gordon Denied Bail an Eighth Time

Yesterday, Thailand’s Criminal Court would deny Joe Gordon bail for an eighth consecutive time. In its decision, the Court would cite a number of reasons for the American’s ongoing incarceration, namely, the seriousness of the alleged offence. “The witness had not yet testified… and the penalty, (if convicted), is high,” wrote the Court.

The Court reaffirmed its earlier statements that Mr. Gordon’s charges, under lese-majeste (Article 112) and the Computer Crimes Act, were “considered and deemed…against the monarchy which is of relevance to national security.” The charges were deemed to have “so affected the minds of those who are loyal to the monarchy.”

The Court also explicitly noted for the first time a perceived 'flight risk' - that, “if released, the accused might flee (the country).”

The Case of Joe Gordon

Mr. Gordon is accused of owning a blog which offers a link to download a Thai-language version of 'The King Never Smiles', a book banned in the Kingdom. If convicted, he could face a maximum fifteen-year sentence. He has since remained incarcerated in Bangkok’s Remand Prison since his arrest on May 24.

Mr. Gordon wrote recently to President Barack Obama, in which he called upon the U.S. President and “all Americans to stand up, support, and defence our “proud” U.S. Constitutions freedom of expression… (and) demand Thailand to release me from jail immediately.”

In a statement last month, the US Embassy in Bangkok would seek to reaffirm Mr. Gordon’s ‘rights as an American citizen’, ‘urg(ing) the Thai authorities to ensure freedom of expression is respected’.

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