Bangkok: A Thai faces prison after being charged with lese majeste (crime of violating majesty) for insulting the king's dog, his lawyer said yesterday, in an escalation of the already draconian royal defamation law.
A file photo of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej holding the leash of his dog while sitting in a wheelchair at a hospital in Bangkok. Pic/AFP
Thanakorn Siripaiboon, 27, has been charged by police with lese majeste for a “satirical” Facebook post on December 6 about the king and his dog. Thanakorn also faces lese majeste, sedition and computer crimes charges for clicking “like” on a doctored photo of the king and sharing it, plus an infographic on a growing corruption scandal engulfing the junta. Prosecutions have soared since the army, which styles itself as the champion of the monarchy, grabbed power in a coup last year.
37 years in jail
Thanakorn, an auto-parts worker, could face up to 37 years in prison. There has been a recent trend towards record-breaking sentences on transgressors, many of whom are also regime critics. Thailand has one of the world’s harshest royal defamation laws. Anyone convicted of insulting the ailing 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or the queen, heir or regent can face up to 15 years in jail.