Tracking lese majeste in the US

7 05 2010

The continuing efforts by Thai politicians and officials, including palace representatives, to stifle discussion of the monarchy has reached the distant shores of the United States.

Reporters Without Borders (7 May 2010) and the World Organization for Human Rights USA (“Human Rights USA”) have issued a statement on the case of Anthony Chai, “an American citizen from California, was interrogated by Thai officials in Thailand and again later in the U.S. for allegedly insulting the monarchy in 2006. Originally from Thailand, Chai was granted US citizenship in the late 1970s. He faces possible arrest if he returns to Thailand.”

Chai is said to have posted to,  comments about the Thai king that “were traced to Chai’s business computer.” This is tracing someone domiciled in the US. It is added: “It is believed that Chai’s IP address was provided by the web hosting company without his knowledge. In response, the U.S.-based hosting company shut down the website.”

The two organizations expressed outrage and noted that the US government was apparently allowing foreign governments to restrict constitutionally-protected rights.

For those who always claim the palace has no role in lese majeste cases, note that Chai claims that he was interviewed by a team of officials that included a representative of the palace.



2 responses

9 05 2010
With major update: TIME on the monarchy « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] then it is venal others who “use” the monarchy for their own purposes. Only a day or so ago we posted on a newly-revealed lese majeste investigation that claims the direct involvement of palace […]

26 08 2011
Monarchy, Prem, lese majeste | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] second story concerns Anthony Chai, a U.S. citizen charged under Thai law. PPT had an earlier post in 2010 about this case. The World Organization for Human Rights USA has an update. It seems that Chai has filed a […]

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