Fresh pictures released by CNN depicting Rohingya refugees crammed into a rickety boat with no engine have put more pressure on the Thai government to come clean on abuse allegations by the Thai Army.  In the pictures, the refugees' boat was being towed out to sea allegedly by a Thai Army boat, before being cut loose and abandoned.  A Rohingya man, who claimed he was on one of the six boats, said that his was the only boat that had made it to shore, while the other five boats sank. The pictures and eyewitness accounts from tourists contradict the Thai Army's earlier claim that there has been no inhumane treatment of the refugees.  Of the 992 refugees who set off from Myanmar toward Thailand in December, 550 are thought to be missing and feared dead.
 Forty-one year-old Australian Harry Nicholaides has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for writing and publishing a book allegedly defaming the Thai monarchy. According to the presiding judge, Nicholaides' book Verisimilitude, published in 2005, "suggested that there was abuse of royal power."  Fifty copies of the book were published; only 10 copies were sold. The book is not listed on any booksellers' Web sites. Nicholaides, a former journalist, entered Thailand in 2003 and had been teaching at Thai universities.  He was arrested while boarding a plane home, apparently unaware that an arrest warrant had been issued against him.  He had been detained in a Thai prison since August 31 and, according to his lawyer, had endured 'unspeakable suffering.' His sentence was halved to 3 years because he had pleaded guilty.
 Human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Thai government of being responsible for at least 34 cases of torture in the three southernmost provinces of Thailand.  The group claims that at least four people were killed by torture during the government's crackdown on the Islamic insurgency movement in the south of Thailand from March 2007 to May 2008.  Survivors and relatives of those who died told Amnesty International that the most commonly used methods of torture were electric shock and suffocation by placing plastic bags over the victims' heads.  More than 3,300 people have died as a result of the insurgency in southern Thailand, which erupted in January 2004.