Reporters Without Borders repeated its call for the release of Australian author Harry Nicolaides, facing a charge of the crime of lese-majesty, after he was yesterday refused bail by the Bangkok criminal court for the fourth time.
Nicolaides, aged 41, who was formally charged on 21 November 2008, has been held at the capital’s remand prison since 31 August. The charge relates to his book, Verisimilitude, which came out in 2005 in which he referred to the way an unamed Crown Prince treated one of his mistresses. Only 50 copies were ever printed.
“We urge the Australian authorities to do everything within their power to secure the repatriation of Harry Nicolaides as quickly as possible”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “He is being held in very harsh conditions and his morale is at a very low ebb.”
His lawyer made a previous request for bail on medical grounds on 22 November. It was rejected on the basis that there was a risk that Nicolaides could flee if he was set free.
His brother, Forde Nicolaides, described the outcome as “regrettable”. “Harry is suffering from the difficult conditions at the prison and the terrible effects this is having on his welfare. [...] Ensuring his ability to cope and remain strong is now critical.”