29. September 2008
Dear Prime Minister
The Secretariat of the Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister
Dusit, Bangkok 10300
Fax: +66 2 280 0858
Dear Minister of Justice
Office of the Minister
Ministry of Justice
Chaeng Wattana Road
Pak Kred, Nonthaburi 11120
Fax: +66 2 502 6734
Dear Minister of Interior
Pol. Gen. Kowit Wattana
Office of the Secretary to the Minister
Pra Nakorn, Bangkok 10200
Fax: +66 2 226 4371
As a member of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN, I am deeply concerned by the the detention and charge against writer Harry Nicolaides.
He has been sentenced for being charged under Article 112 of the Criminal Code with ‘lèse-majesté’ (insulting the monarchy), and faces a sentence of between three and fifteen years of imprisonment. We are concerned about the detention.
The charge stems from a passage in Nicolaides’ novel Verisimilitude which is considered to be insulting to the Thai king’s eldest son. It is said that in the 300-page book, only three lines refer to the crown prince, and that he is not even mentioned by name.
On 2 September Nicolaides requested to be released on bail, but his request was denied. It is said that only fifty copies of the book were ever printed, of which seven were sold.
I seek your assurance, Your Excellency, for immediate his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Thailand is a state party.
Confident that you, Your Excellency, will take action accordingly, I remain,
Member of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo
Thailand Embassy in Norway
Eilert Sundts gate 4
Tlf: 22 12 86 60
Faks: 22 04 99 69