In Thailand, Even a Facebook Post Can Land You in Prison


My article, published on 7 December 2017 in the Dispatches section of The Progressive web-site in America.

When Donald Trump and his wife Melania hosted Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha at the White House in October, he gave legitimacy to a dictator who seized power in a 2014 coup, and who retains power through suppression of dissent and summary justice.

Prayuth is, in short, exactly the sort of leader that Trump tends to admire.

Thailand is a country where the generals are in charge, dissent from the press is minimal, and public demonstrations of patriotism, such as standing for the national anthem, are mandatory. Prayuth uses the antiquated Lese Majeste law, which imposes severe penalties on those who show disrespect toward the royal family.

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