BANGKOK — U.S. Ambassador Glyn Davies is under investigation for critical comments he made about Thailand’s harsh law against defaming the monarchy, known as lese majeste.
Police are investigating whether Davies himself is guilty of defaming the monarchy for comments made late last month at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, where the top American diplomat expressed “concern” about recent record sentences handed down by military tribunals for the crime, the club's president confirmed Wednesday.
FCCT President Jonathan Head, a longtime BBC correspondent, said on Twitter this morning the club had been asked to cooperate with a police investigation into Davies after Sontiya Sawasdee, a member of a group calling itself Federation Monitoring the Thai State, filed a complaint Thursday.
Sontiya reportedly presented to police as evidence a Facebook post from Jermsak Pinthong, a member of the now-defunct National Reform Council, criticizing the ambassador's talk to police to keep as an evidence.
The representative of the group urged police to obtain a transcription of the speech and investigate the event organizer’s “hidden agenda.”
A response from the U.S. Embassy could not be immediately obtained.
In his comments at the Nov. 25 event, Davies raised concerns about recent convictions and sentences for civilians tried in military courts. He said no one should be jailed for peacefully expressing their opinion.
"We're also concerned by the lengthy and unprecedented prison sentences handed down by Thai military courts against civilians for violating the lese majeste law," he said, according to AFP.