Thai man charged over remarks on King's dog

BANGKOK • Thailand's strict laws making it a crime to insult the monarchy were brought to focus again this week, when a factory worker was charged with disparaging the King's dog.

In a case brought to a military court, Thanakorn Siripaiboon was on Monday charged with making a "sarcastic" Internet post related to King Bhumibol Adulyadej's pet.

Thanakorn also faces lese majeste, sedition and computer crime charges for clicking "like" on a doctored photo of the king and sharing it, along with an infographic on a growing graft scandal engulfing the junta. He could face a total of 37 years in prison for his social media posts, highlighting what has become a feverish campaign to protect the monarchy and rebuff critics of the country's military rulers.

Last year, a prominent scholar was accused of insulting a king who died 400 years ago. The list of people who have been investigated now includes the United States Ambassador to Thailand.

The lese majeste law applies to anyone who specifically defames the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent. The royal dog in question is Tongdaeng, or Copper, an adopted stray praised for its loyalty and widely loved in Thailand.

NEW YORK TIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2015, with the headline 'Thai man charged over remarks on King's dog'. Print Edition | Subscribe