Nicholaides self-published a novel called Verisimilitude four years a go which sold a total of 7 copies. (The only copy which is still known to exist apparently sits on the shelf of the Thai National Library, freely available to the public!) The book contained a short passage, just 103 words long, which describes the rather flamboyant private life of an unnamed Thai prince.
(I dug around and found the actual extract here if your curiosity is getting the better of you!)
Nicolaides admitted the charge of insulting the royal family, but said he was unaware he was committing an offence.
The writer is by no means the only one to be suffering from this outdated and draconian law which, it seems, is (suprise, suprise) being misued by politicians.
The Australian Embassy more or less ignored the case! I see nothing about Nicolaides plight on Sydney PEN's page (something that does surprise me!).
But PEN American Centre has launched a protest and lists addresses where appeals can be sent.
I join with them in :
• Expressing serious concern about the detention and charge against writer Harry Nicolaides;
• Calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Thailand is a signatory.
Yusof found a PDF of the whole book (complete with library stamp!) - read and enjoy!
You can add your name to a petition to stop lèse majesté in Thailand here.