July 11th, 2012
01:07 AM ET

Thai-American jailed for insulting monarchy receives royal pardon

Thailand has pardoned a Thai-born American who was sentenced last year to 2 1/2 years in prison for insulting the monarchy, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Joe W. Gordon, whose Thai name is Lerpong Wichaicommart, was released Tuesday after receiving a royal pardon from the king, his lawyer said.

Gordon's case is one of several that provoked criticism from human rights advocates over Thailand's controversial laws that punish defaming, insulting or threatening the royal family. U.S. authorities had also expressed concern about his imprisonment.

The charge of writing and posting articles insulting the monarchy under the Southeast Asian country's lese majeste laws can yield a sentence as high as 20 years in prison in the Buddhist country, where the king is highly revered.

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Filed under: Thailand • World
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Rascal Rabble

    oh gee, here we go again monarchy, self-proclaimed demigod, commoners and criticisms aka freedom of speech are subject to royal wind, whim, and warth...wunder what would happen if thai-monarchy vs mohammed or his iman???

    July 11, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. salinesolution

    It's too bad Bush and Obama couldn't throw American citizens in jail for insulting the president, oh wait they do, they just call it the patriot act.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. Who am I?

    Joe W. Gordon, whose Thai name is Leoprong Walmart, was released Tuesday after receiving a royal kick in the petute from the king.

    July 11, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. james ainoris

    Only Monty Python could match such nonsense... although thailand has similar laws....really weird that there is still people believing self proclaimed divine right monarchy... sadly a sign of a brainwashed populas... james ainoris

    July 11, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    "When I stand, you shall stand. When I sit, you shall sit. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...".

    Wonder is they still have that law where no one's head is supposed to be higher than the Kings?

    Shall we dance?

    July 11, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |