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Expat says he was almost deported over Facebook posts

Caitlin Ashworth

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Expat says he was almost deported over Facebook posts | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: Yan Marchal
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With the ongoing pro-democracy protests, some have raised question: What could happen to foreigners who get involved or speak out against Thai politics? Or post their thoughts on social media? Well, they could possibly get deported.

Expat Yan Marchal says he almost got kicked out of the country for posts he made on Facebook. Many of Yan’s recent Facebook posts are commentary relating to Thailand’s recent protests, although he has priors.

Yan says he was on a visa under his Board of Investment, or BOI, company, valid until next March. He went by immigration to transfer his stamp into a new passport, but was told that his visa had been revoked and was now on overstay, Yan wrote on Facebook.

“He told me that I would be deported. The reason given was my Facebook activity. I could see that he has a file with a detailed report on my posts, although he did not let me read the details.”

Yan says he contacted Khaosod English. The news outlet got him in contact with the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. With the help of journalists and a lawyer, Yan met with another immigration inspector who told him that his visa was not cancelled, he will not be deported and the process for getting a new stamp in his passport would take a few days.

“The message that I felt the inspector was willing to deliver, although he would not own it, was that I had to be less opinionated on Facebook if I wanted to stay in Thailand. I was specifically asked to delete two posts, which I did.”

It’s not the first time his content caused trouble. Last year, he was visited by police after a video he made poking fun at the military junta – the National Council for Peace and Order. Yan made a public apology and the video was removed.

Thailand has been known to enforce online content that is considered critical of the monarchy or could incite unrest. In recent months, some activists have faced sedition charges for social media content that allegedly violates the Computer Crime Act.

Should Yan be deported? Was he wrong to post critical comments about Thailand? And the government?

SOURCES: Facebook| Coconuts Bangkok

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Johnny Rambo

    November 3, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    To all Farangs: Get out of this primitive dictatorship. The Thai government has already sold the country to China. Now Thailand can expect a “bright” future with famines and neanderthal life conditions. Dont stay there !

  2. Avatar

    Gaz

    November 3, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    We are guests of this country. Wether we agree with policies or not is not for us to get involved.
    We choose to live here and adhere to.the laws. I’ve lived here 17 years and love the country. It’s my home now. We don’t like others meddling in our native countries politics. So best to stay neutral.

    • Avatar

      Raul Torres

      November 3, 2020 at 1:17 pm

      You have income from your country of origin. If you are Thai you will no sympathized. Keep your comment to your self.

    • Avatar

      Nick

      November 3, 2020 at 1:40 pm

      Mental paleozic culture. can’t get out now. I have 2 children here 1 adopted by me, 1 mine. and thats what I get back. Cant even twitt or post on FB. You are right. Just watch the economy dropping down like that stone in the water. The problem is, they refuse to learn. Even animals can learn faster than that yeah, primitive herd.

    • Avatar

      Leo Z

      November 4, 2020 at 12:20 am

      “We don’t like others meddling in our native countries politics.” Oh boy, but do they? (Here’s looking at you China and others).

      I partly agree with you. However, two points: a) “FB activity” is not “meddling in a country’s politics”. He didn’t run for MP. b) If Western countries applied the equivalent criteria, how many Asian immigrants (including Thai) would have to be deported?

  3. Avatar

    Smoker

    November 3, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    Typical WM syndrome

  4. Avatar

    Kris

    November 3, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    It is not appropriate to criticize the country where you are guest.

  5. Avatar

    Rusty

    November 3, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    I fully agreed with Gaz…..learn to mind your own bussiness..(Busybody)….Who are you comment in Thailand ?…Only ignaramous does that…Westerner never learn…really…shameless attitude..I wish the immigration stamp him out,never
    Able to come back to Thailand or Asian countries again if possible…

  6. Avatar

    gosport

    November 3, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Can understand why these insanes dont have any sense of laws?

    Too too nosy!

  7. Avatar

    Dreamon

    November 3, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    If he pay taxes in Thailandia he is not a guest anymore. So he can say whatever he wants, that’s how democracy and freedom works, he have rights to ask for changes.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 3, 2020 at 6:15 pm

      No, “democracy and freedom” works according to the rules of whatever country you happen to be in.

      What may be “democracy” even in one Western country may not be in another – there is no “one size fits all”, nor should there be.

      • Avatar

        Dreamon

        November 3, 2020 at 10:30 pm

        you know nothing about Democracy or Freedom.
        Not a single Democratic country in the world would expel someone just for supporting a political party or a student movement that it’s actually asking for Democratic reforms in a peaceful way.
        so YES Thailand is not a democratic country, it is just a dictatorship.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          November 4, 2020 at 2:57 pm

          … just one minor problem with that ….. that’s NOT “just ” what he’s done, but he’s gone way beyond that.

          Sorry, but he openly admits that himself.

          He doesn’t just admit it, to be more accurate, but he makes a point of boasting about it.

          • Avatar

            Phillyboy

            November 7, 2020 at 5:52 pm

            Lets face it, the dude who posted these comments on FB is a moron. You do not stir up trouble in a country that is not your country, whether you work there or not. Let the Thai’s solve their own problems, their problems are not for us to comment on in the mass media (FB/Twitter/Etc).

  8. Avatar

    murika

    November 3, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    could it have to do with his BOI (board of investment) statue ? i mean BOI are kind of business partners with the thai government, to get this statue that allow you to own land in thailand, you need approval from a government comity, and it could be that you sign a contract that make it illegal for you to have a kind of political activity. i don’t claim, i just ask

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 3, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      His Bangkok based videogame company closed in February last year after failing to attract investors, so he has no “BOI status”.

      Typical of a very small but unpleasant minority of Frenchmen who think they have an unlimited right to freedom of speech and to offend anyone they like while banning anything that offends them, leading to a “culture” where you can say anything you like about religions however offensive but you can’t wolf-whistle at someone, and it’s fine for men to be naked on a beach waving their meat and two veg around but not for women to be fully clothed.

      • Avatar

        preesy chepuce

        November 3, 2020 at 8:26 pm

        Don’t you think it’s a bit ironic effectively insuating he is racist… because of his nationality/ethnicity?!

        I find the usual herd of sheep who say how it’s inappropriate to criticise a country you are a guest in, British people are very used to foreigners coming over to the UK and criticising it heavily.

        The reality is that it’s not sensible to do it in some countries, in places like Britain, the British tend not to care, or may even join in, but in the vast majority of countries in the world, people are extraordinarily touchy (for British people) about criticism of their country – even if they agree with you!

        Criticising human invented ideas shouldn’t be regarded as offensive, it should be regarded as doing people a favour; especially when some beliefs in some made up ideas result in innocent people being butchered at work or just going to the shops. What kind of world do you want to live in?!

        • Avatar

          James

          November 3, 2020 at 10:37 pm

          preesy

          There is a big difference.

          The foreigners who come to stay in Britain become British nationals and are then allowed to vote and say whatever they want. Their rights are equal to a person who is born here,

          In Thailand farangs are always temporary visitors, they might have yearly visas but they are not permanent and have no rights, they know this before going to Thailand and so should shut up.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          November 3, 2020 at 11:35 pm

          I don’t know why you think I’m “insinuating he’s racist”?

          I just think he’s a bit of a tit.

  9. Avatar

    Tony Grace

    November 3, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    3 important things to do when in another country.
    NO 1 keep eyes wide open.
    2 keep ears wide open.
    3 keep mouth shut.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      November 3, 2020 at 2:54 pm

      Keep hand on wallet – especially in Thailand.

      • Avatar

        SG666

        November 3, 2020 at 3:30 pm

        100 percent correct

    • Avatar

      Steven Broaddus

      November 3, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      thats why your country you fled from has become a fascist hell jole

  10. Avatar

    Joseph McKee

    November 4, 2020 at 12:53 am

    I MUST LAUGH. TIT. This is Thailand!

    I was BOI. I never paid tax to Thailand. My check went to my home country bank (tax free). My per-diem was not taxed but went into my Thai bank.

    #1 Rule. You can’t criticize what you don’t understand. Be honest. Do you understand Thailand? Where else can benevolent shut down a factory of 3000 for a week?

  11. Avatar

    MARTIN BERRY

    November 4, 2020 at 3:45 am

    I Lived in Thailand for 12 years, every now and then you would hear the farang moaner complaining about a variety of things whether it be on a local or national level.They always commented “we dont that where i come from” etc you have all heard it. What they say may be true but you are a guest in another Country you have been allowed to enter by their grace.
    I suggest you keep your head down, keep out of trouble, respect their customs and protocols,obey the rules and laws, be polite enjoy its benefits,of which must outweigh where you came from otherwise you would not be there in the first place. Never do business, especially with a Thai no matter what status they hold as sadly some are unscrupulous,there are so many cases of foreigners being duped why risk your lives savings ?. If you dont do these things then you can learn the hard way.
    Finally if you don’t like it vote with your feet and get out and go elsewhere !

  12. Avatar

    joseph c Schmehl

    November 4, 2020 at 4:55 am

    As an expat you should not get involved with any politics. Keep your opinions to yourself and worry about your own county’s politics. You are not a national citizen of Thailand. Learn when to speak and when NOT to speak…

  13. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    November 4, 2020 at 5:37 am

    Would’ve been worse if he did it in a GCC country.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 4, 2020 at 3:01 pm

      If only he’d tried doing the same thing in Iran …

  14. Avatar

    Phillyboy

    November 7, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    What kind of person who is a guest in another country would make negative comments about the government, especially in these tense times. Wow man just live your life, enjoy your life, but keep your comments to yourself or those who are close to you. It’s just too easy man!!!!!

  15. Avatar

    Michael

    November 8, 2020 at 9:20 am

    So if you do not like your farang neighbor…
    Open a Facebook account with his name.
    Write many bad things about Thailand and Thai politics.
    Insult some people whose names you should not mention.
    Wait for the next annual renewal of his visa.
    Wish him a pleasant flight back to his home country.

  16. Avatar

    ron

    November 16, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    No, “democracy and freedom

    guys stop go to thai shit land no sense go to country no right to talk and they blackmail farang with visa or money any time they is some discussing
    also never win with thais
    my opinion is make war with this stupid animals ,they are half of monkey
    old people like ovr 40’s are only retarder and under thai rule completely ,impossible make them understand ,but some young studends maybe they start to underatdn ,
    need kick out the monarchy ,and actully government, they are only thief and dictature

    no one go to thai ,guys stop give money to monkey ,they without us are only poor stupid

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Economy

Government aims to offer work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million

Maya Taylor

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Government aims to offer work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.pinoythaiyo.com

Probably the most expensive Work Permit in the world. The Thai government is considering offering work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million in Thai property or businesses. The Centre for Economic Situation Administration has approved a proposal to grant work permits to eligible Elite Card holders. In order to qualify, they must have the top-tier Thailand Elite visa card, which costs 1 million baht and is valid for 5 years. They must also be prepared to invest their funds for at least 5 years.

The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, says it’s hoped the move will boost foreign investment in the Kingdom. It’s hoped the plan could generate 31 billion baht for the economy, 1 billion of which would come from Elite card fees, with the remainder being generated by foreign investment.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the TAT and the Foreign and Interior Ministries to work together on the proposal, before submitting it to Cabinet for final approval.

The CESA has also approved the proposed partnership between the TAT, Thai Airways, and local hotels, in which tourism packages inclusive of quarantine, can be offered to foreign arrivals. It’s understood the packages will be available from December 1 until March 31 next year. The government is targeting 2,000 visitors, generating revenue of 200 million baht every month.

Just another ‘proposal’ we have to keep track of as the visa situation in Thailand becomes increasingly complex.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Finally! TAT partners with hotels, airlines, to offer travel stimulus package for expats

Maya Taylor

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Finally! TAT partners with hotels, airlines, to offer travel stimulus package for expats | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Shutterstock

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is partnering with airlines and over 300 hotels around the country in another domestic tourism stimulus scheme, this time aimed at expats. It’s understood all foreigners and their families, living in the Kingdom, are eligible to avail of the scheme.

The “Expat Travel Bonus” offers a 1,000 baht per night discount on hotel accommodation at participating properties. The more nights booked, the bigger the discount. Participating hotels are registered with the Thai Hotels Association and can be found here.

The promotion will run until December 31 and interested travellers will need to contact the hotels directly to book. The scheme also allows for a 50% discount on domestic flights with AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, and Nok Air.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi from the Thai Hotels Association, has welcomed the scheme, saying hotels need as much support as possible in the absence of international tourism.

“With very limited travel from overseas, Thai hotels need all the support they can get, so there’s never been a better time for expats to help out and enjoy a great value vacation at the same time. I am happy that the association can be a part of this campaign.”

The TAT’s Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya echoes the sentiment, saying he hopes more expats will take advantage of the opportunity to get out and explore more of the country in which they live.

“In Thailand, the expat market has great potential, so we hope this campaign will encourage more expats to explore Thailand and show support for our hospitality industry.”

Before you rush into booking the ‘promo’ prices and taking advantage of the stimulus, check the prices for the same hotels on Agoda.com, bookings.com, hotels.com or your favourite OTA – The Thaiger.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Expat awaits trial for drug charges, mother in England worries and works to pay the bills

Caitlin Ashworth

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Expat awaits trial for drug charges, mother in England worries and works to pay the bills | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: Michaela Bentley

While 27 year old expat Louis Bentley awaits trial in Thailand for drug charges, his mother back in England is working 12 hour shifts to pay her son’s bills. For his mother, Michaela, the anticipation of waiting for the her son’s February court date, in a country so far from her with laws she’s unfamiliar with, has been “horrendous.”

Louis was arrested by Phuket police back in July and spent 2 weeks in Thai prison. Louis worked as an English teacher in China for 5 years. He took a trip to Thailand, but when the coronavirus outbreak spread worldwide, he stayed.

Michaela told her local newspaper, the Barnsley Chronicle in South Yorkshire, that she believes drugs were planted on Louis after he got in a dispute with a local. He wasn’t able to make bail at first because his “friends” allegedly ran off with his money.

She was able to raise enough money in an online fundraising campaign to pay the bail and other legal fees. But that was back in July and now the more than 9,000 pounds she raised has been spent.

“We’re sending over money to pay for his lodgings, food, gas and electric… I work 12 hours, 4 days a week, to earn money so that I can keep my house going and keep his house going.”

Now it’s just a waiting game. But the time leading up to the trial has been stressful. Michaela’s says her son says gotten depressed and sometimes days he doesn’t answer the phone, leaving her worried because he’s her only source of information when it comes to the trial.

“We’re just hoping for a good outcome when it comes to the trial.”

SOURCES: Yorkshire Live | Barnsley Chronicle

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