Thai man arrested for 'liking' post about king is also charged with insulting his dog The Thai man who was arrested last week for allegedly disparaging the country's monarch on Facebook has also been charged with insulting the king's dog.
Factory worker Thanakorn Siripaiboon was arrested last Tuesday. He is being accused of sedition for reposting an infographic accusing the government of corruption. Additionally, he hit "like" on a photo which was doctored to portray the king in a negative light, which violates the country's lÃ¨se-majestÃ© law â a serious offense in the country.
Now, Thanakorn is also being charged with making a "sarcastic" post related to the king's dog, according to the New York Times.
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Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej sits next to Tongdaeng in this picture from May 2005.Image: VINAI DITHAJOHN/epa/CorbisThe lÃ¨se-majestÃ© law in Thailand stipulates that those convicted of insulting the king, queen, heir or regent can face up to 15 years in jail for each count of the offense. The sentence is handed down by Thai military courts, and does not allow for appeals.
Insulting the king's dog, named Tongdaeng (Thai for Copper), is also a violation of lÃ¨se-majestÃ© law.
Thanakorn's lawyer, Anon Numpa, said the military did not reveal exactly what the insult directed at the dog was, but labelled it "nonsense" that the law should be extended to include the pet.
He added that the rules of what's considered lÃ¨se-majestÃ© have broadened considerably in recent years. Last week, Thai authorities said they are investigating the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Glyn Davies, for also violating the law in a speech he made. The speech addressed lÃ¨se-majestÃ© itself, where Davies had allegedly expressed concern about the heavy sentences handed down to people convicted of violating it.
Fears of being hauled up for lÃ¨se-majestÃ© have expanded to businesses, too. The New York Times' printer in Thailand has opted to print a blank space in the newspaper's Thai editions over potentially prickly articles about Thailand. At the start of this month, it blanked out an article discussing the Thai royal family's wealth, and later a story discussing the Thai economy.
Last week's story on Thanakorn's arrest was also blanked out â the third time it's happened this month.
Thai printer of International New York Times censors article on man facing jail for insulting king's dog pic.twitter.com/rLbtT3CFCW
â Andrew MacG Marshall (@zenjournalist) December 15, 2015
Tongdaeng was rescued by the king from an alley, and he wrote a best-selling book about her in 2002. The dog is reportedly beloved in Thailand, and was also the subject of a locally produced animated film, which recently hit the number two spot at the box office.
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