American Guest faces Jail or Public Apology for posting negative reviews on Thai Hotel

An American guest faces jail or public apology or 100,000 baht ($3200) for posting negative reviews on the Thai Hotel. The hotel on the holiday island of Koh Chang filed a legal case against Wesley Barnes in August under the defamation act.

Unlike other countries, defamation is a criminal act in Thailand. The legal dispute happened over a 500baht ($16) corkage fee.

After the dispute, Thai Police detained Wesley Barnes for two days in September and then released him on bail.

American guest faces jail or public apology

The Sea View Koh Chang Hotel has now released a statement,

“Under conditions that Mr. Barnes shows his sincerity and takes full responsibility for what had happened and remedy the situation, the hotel will be delighted to drop the charge.”

The hotel wants Barnes to send an apology to the media, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the US Embassy, and the Tripadvisor website and say that the comments were written on anger.

It all started when he stayed at the hotel in June and had an argument with a staff for the corkage fee for alcohol he brought in the premises.

He then submitted negative reviews of the hotel online such as “treat the staff like slaves”, “act like they don’t want anyone there”. However, the slavery comment was not posted as it was against the review guidelines.

The hotel said that they tried initially to connect Branes to resolve the conflict. However, when he posted multiple reviews, they took a legal step, reported the Guardian.

Defamation rule is a draconian rule in Thailand. Activists say that the rule is misused to silence the activists and journalists from speaking.