Lese majeste convict released

30 01 2014

Prachatai reports on the release of a Saudi Arabian lese majeste convict “Ibrahim A.,” who was freed “last week after receiving a royal pardon.” This is a case PPT had heard of but had not had a source to post from.

Prachatai says that he “was sentenced to two years in jail for posting rumours about the king’s health on an investors’ webboard in August 2010.”

Ibrahim, who is 42, and his family face a bleak future. The authorities are now about to deport him and blacklist him, leaving his wife and son in Thailand. She says the “fragile ties between Thailand and Saudi Arabia [due to the unresolved Saudi gems and murders cases], it will be nearly impossible for his wife to register their marriage certificate and stay with him in the Middle Eastern country…”.

His wife observes: “It seems unfair. We have to separate even though the crime he committed didn’t kill anybody. He didn’t mean it. The King has given him a royal pardon already, but still the Immigration law [demands that he leave.]”

Ibrahim was previously an investor, and when he posted on an investors’ web forum at a securities company,  the company filed a police complaint.

The Court of First Instance in March 2012 found Ibrahim guilty under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, or lèse majesté law, and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act, and sentenced him to two years in prison. The Appeal Court in August 2013 affirmed the decision and did not grant him bail. He and his family then decided to request a royal pardon. He was granted the pardon on January 22, 2014. He was released, but later detained in the care of the Immigration Police. He is now released on bail.

Prachatai adds: “There are at least two other lèse majesté cases involving rumours about the king’s health.”

The punishment for lese majeste never ceases. All of this for some speculation on the health of an aged and sick monarch. Not only is the lese majeste law unjust and draconian, it is implemented in pathetic ways by hopeless toadies.


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