‘‘When the doctor knows that your case is a lese majeste or you are a Red Shirt or you are a political prisoner, they will not treat you, they will not give you medicine,’’ he said.
There have been allegations that other prisoners charged with lese majeste have not been able to get proper treatment, including a 62-year-old grandfather who died of cancer in prison.
Prison official Sorasit Chongcharoen denied that lese majeste prisoners were abused.
‘‘Doctors and prison officials are giving fair treatment to every prisoner or detainee, regardless of their charges,’’ he said.
Gordon said the lese majeste law should be scrapped because it is too strict and rather than protecting the royal institution causes it more harm.
‘‘If Thailand wants to move forward to catch up with globalization, they need to get rid of lese majeste and release all the political prisoners,’’ he said.
He said the country’s attitude toward controversial speech was holding it back.
‘‘Thailand needs to learn to handle the truth. Have a thicker skin to move forward,’’ he said.
He said his experience in Thailand has left him emotionally scarred and he had no plans to return. He said he plans to stay in Los Angeles initially on his return to the U.S.
‘‘I'm very aware now that Thailand is not really the land of smiles, and you have to be careful what you are doing in this country,’’ Gordon said. ‘‘It seems like on the surface a nice country, but if you dig deeper it is dangerous and can harm you.’’