Thailand dictatorship banned Orwell’s 1984, now New York Times


King of Thailand in Bangkok hospital on 1 September 2015, while employees kneel for him, photo by EPA

After censorship, self-censorship …

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Thai edition of New York Times not published because of article about royal family

Today, 11:42

The publisher of The International New York Times in Thailand did not print today’s edition, because there was an article in it about the future of the Thai royal family. “The article is too sensitive to publish,” said the printer. In Thailand there are strict rules for public discussion about the royal family.

The article discussed the deteriorating health of the 87-year-old King Bhumibol and uncertainty about the survival of the monarchy. It says that the crown prince is known as a playboy and that it will be a chore for him to equal the prestige and status of his father. The newspaper writes that many Thai hope that the daughter of the king, who is much more popular among the population, will succeed the king, but that the law forbids women on the throne.

Lese majeste

Thai subscribers received an email from the newspaper stating that it was the decision of the local publisher to not let the newspaper appear today. “The decision is not supported by The New York Times,” the email says, and readers are refered to the online version of the newspaper.

Overt criticism of the royal family or the monarchy in Thailand can lead to imprisonment up to 15 years for treason. The number of convictions has increased considerably since a military junta in May last year has taken power in Thailand. According to human rights organizations this is part of a larger campaign to silence critics.

Thailand royal insult case: Second suspect dies in as many weeks. Suriyan Sucharitpolwong was admitted to hosital and Thursday and died of natural causes on Saturday, said the Department of Corrections: here.

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9 thoughts on “Thailand dictatorship banned Orwell’s 1984, now New York Times

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