Sunday, 5 July 2009

A Man with a Grudge

A Man with a Grudge

Akbar Khan is a British citizen and translator based in Bangkok who has been helping the Thai Police press "lese majeste charges" against unsuspecting individuals. For those who don't understand Thai law 'lese majeste' is an offence committed when an individual says something against the Thai royal family.

However, over recent years this law - LM for short - has been used as a blunt tool to attack political dissent.

At the moment a father and ex-engineer Suwichai is serving 10years for distributing a doctored picture of the Thai king on the internet. Political activist Da Torpedo is facing numerous charges related to political speeches and her up and coming trial for LM will now be held in a secret court. The entire board of the Foreign Correspondent's Club of Thailand (FCCT) are being investigated for LM while the BBC's correspondent, Jonathan Head is also up on LM charges.

Several of these cases have been prompted by Akbar Khan, a 43year old from Borehamwood, just outside North London. He has on several occasions secretly recorded meetings at the FCCT, translated them into Thai and then pressed the Thai police into making LM charges. Yet Mr Khan's background is decidely dodgy. For instance Mr Khan makes several claims on his Linked In page to work for different companies yet the same company websites he links to are dead. Furthermore he was also recently allegedly sacked from a job at the Phuket Gazzette.

Much of Mr Khan's attacks on the foreign press in Bangkok seem to be driven by his own failings at being a journalist.

Yet, bizarrely, Mr Khan also seems, at certain points to link himself very closely to a figure who has been accused of both LM and of being a republican - ex Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra (see photo of Akbar Khan with Thaksin above).

To this end, claims by Mr Khan to be protecting the Thai royal family seem hollow.

What drives Mr Khan to engage in these actions is, as yet, unanswered. What should not be lost sight of is that many people could go to prison for a long time because of them.

Do you know more about Akbar Khan in Bangkok? If so leave a comment, anonymously if you wish, in the comments box.

1 comment:

  1. It has always been known that the FCCT stages anti-monarchy activites, if this is their best form of defence then I think we can expect to see some arrests soon as it seems like the work of a rat in the corner. I don't believe for one minute that Khan is the mastermind behind this all, perhaps we will never know. I do however believe that there are certain powers behind all of this and that thier plan is to suddenly arrest a mass of reporters in a dragnet. Great entertainment let's wait and see how this develops next week!


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