On 27 Sept, a group of activists gathered in front of the US Embassy in Bangkok to call on the US government to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizen, Joe Gordon, who has been detained without bail for 4 months on charges of lèse majesté.
About 30 people from the Activists for Democracy Network (ADN) called on the US government and American public to seek the release of Joe Gordon as soon as possible.
The lèse majesté law, or Article 112 of the Criminal Code, and its enforcement has violated human rights and freedom of expression of the people, the activists said.
They urged US President Barack Obama, who was to meet with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra soon, to raise the issue of human rights violations under this law in their meeting to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens of both countries.
They also urged the US government to show clearly their position on the Thai judicial process in which Joe Gordon has been repeatedly denied bail and apparently ‘presumed guilty’ by the Thai authorities.
Two representatives of the activists were invited to enter the Embassy to submit their letter and meet Consul General Elizabeth Pratt, which took about 20 minutes.
The Consul General thanked them for coming, and told them that the Embassy appreciated their concerns about Joe Gordon, an American citizen, said Jitra Kotchadej, one of the representatives.
‘The Embassy promised that it would closely follow the case and send its officials to visit [Joe Gordon] regularly,’ she said.
The Embassy distributed among the activists its written response to their call.
The activists staged a performance which showed the American Statue of Liberty chained in a cage, and showed messages calling for the right to bail for people accused of lèse majesté, including Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, Surachai Danwattananusorn, Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, Thanthawut Thaweewarodomkul, Amphon Tangnoppakul, etc.
They also read Joe Gordon’s message to US President Obama:
Dear President Obama :
I am writing to you as a matter of life and dead from jail in Bangkok, Thailand. The Thai authority charges me with lese “ majeste” and computer crime laws. The Thai government uses these laws to target activists , scholars, journalists, authors and politicians and sentence them to decade in prison on multiple charges.
I cannot fight my case against the Thai justice system alone. Because, the system is corrupted , bias, and violated human rights. Therefor, there is no fair treatment. For example, my case, by detaining me and not allowing bail. Beside, I feel sad to see our freedom of expression has been insulted, punished, and degraded by the third world country like Thailand.
I would like to ask all americans to stand up, support, and defence our “proud” U.S.constitutions freedom of expression that the Thai government does not respect. American government should protest and condemn Thailand for using this abusive laws as a tool to protect the royal institution from criticism, especially, my case in American soil. And, demands Thailand to release me from jail immediately.
God bless you , God bless America.
Bangkok Jail, Thailand
Reported by Thewarit Maneechai