The Frenchman critical of the monarchy who was denied entry returning to Thailand Friday was deported early Saturday.
Yan Eric Marchal, 48, left Thailand, his wife, children and business likely forever on Thai Airways Flight 930 to Paris at 12:05 a.m., ending a short final chapter to a long life living on the knife’s edge in Thailand.
Marchal was denied entry at Phuket International Airport about 7 a.m. Friday and was presented with an official notice of expulsion after being deemed a “threat to national security”.
The software developer and Tik Tok influencer with more than 560,000 followers, was flown to Bangkok, put in the Immigration Detention Center and told he could appeal, or leave immediately.
Marchal, who jeopardized his life in the kingdom by sticking his nose repeatedly in Thai politics to puff up his online ego, at first considered appealing, until his lawyers advised him that his anti-monarchy posts could see him charged with lese majeste.
Rather than face jail time of 15 years per offending post, he opted for Gate E7 at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Whatever happens, I will have to live with it,” Marchal messaged a sympathetic, anti-government writer, a copy of which was posted to Twitter. “I’d rather look at the upsides that I may find in my new life. But I do hope Thailand’s regime will change for the better someday and enable free speech, which would indeed allow me to come back.
Marchal was blacklisted after he left the country earlier in the pandemic. That list is unlikely to change, no matter the regime.
The Frenchman dug his own grave in Thailand. And foreigners reading his story had little sympathy.
“Your right to freedom of speech does not fit into your suitcase when you travel to many countries. It is wise to be aware of that,” wrote Facebook user William Minehan on the Bangkok Herald’s Facebook page.
“An imbecile who had nothing going for him but to do stupid things to make a name for himself,” added user Oliver Ruc. “He is a joke to the locals and to me too, good riddance … One less wannabe!”