A letter to various officials

On Saturday, 24 January, I sent letters to President Obama and my other elected representatives in Washington about the case of Harry Nicolaides.   Below is the text of the letter to Mr. O.  I sent slightly modified versions of the same letter to the other officials.   

Dear Mr. President:

 

Several weeks ago, I read a magazine article by Australian writer Harry Nicolaides.  Mr. Nicolaides reported from Tachilek, a town in Burma located only about 50 meters from the Thai border.  Originally published in an Australian magazine called Eureka on 29 July 2008, the article claimed that child pornography was openly sold in Tachilek.  Mr. Nicolaides claimed to have evidence of videos sold there depicting the binding, rape, and torture of thousands of children aged 4-12 years, most of them apparently produced in Europe or North America, the rest in Cambodia and other Asian countries.  Mr. Nicolaides claims that men from Europe and North America cross the border freely, never searched by Thai or Burmese police.  The article is available online at: http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=8264.  

 

I saw Mr. Nicolaides’ name in the news again today.  Thai authorities arrested him late in August, four weeks after the publication of his article about Tachilek.  The charge against him was that a novel he had published in 2005 contained a paragraph that might be construed to refer to Thailand’s Crown Prince and to constitute lese-majeste.  This past Monday, a Thai court sentenced Mr. Nicolaides to three years in prison. 

 

It strikes me that Mr. Nicolaides’ article about Tachilek, if true, constitutes a valuable service.  One might hope that the Thai authorities would be grateful to be alerted to the existence of this trade and for the opportunity to stamp it out.  Certainly the citizens of the countries where the videos are produced owe Mr. Nicolaides a debt of gratitude.   Perhaps the court that sentenced Mr. Nicolaides was not at liberty to take this service into account.  In view of the international dimension of the Tachilek question, might the Thai ambassador to the United States have occasion to put in a word with the king? 

 

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter. 

 

Yours truly,

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3 Comments

  1. cymast

     /  February 5, 2009

    Well written!

    I sent letters about Nicolaides to about a dozen people including President Obama, the USA Ambassador to Thailand, and the Prime Minister of Australia, but I did not mention the child sex abuse industry. I had planned to do a mass mailing for the purpose of exposing the industry after a decision about Nicolaides in April. Perhaps I should send letters again and mention the industry. I just don’t want to rile up Thai officials in the event that one of my letters is actually read, taken seriously, and acted upon.

  2. acilius

     /  February 5, 2009

    Thanks for the praise!

    Good point about the Thais. I certainly wouldn’t mention the international child sex abuse industry in a letter to them, but I don’t see any reason not to bring it up when writing to US and Australian officials.

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