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A Thai factory worker is facing nearly 4 decades in prison after posting “sarcastic” remarks about Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s dog on social media.
Thanakorn Siripaiboon was arrested at his home last week under charges of lèse-majesté, or “royal insults,” after allegedly insulting Tongdaeng, the mixed-breed stray dog that Thailand’s king rescued from an alley many years ago.
The king’s dog, Tongdaeng, or “Copper,” is widely beloved by the people of Thailand. The dog’s rags-to-riches life has been the subject of best-selling books and films. Just last week, Khun Tongdaeng: The Inspirations, an animated movie about the royal pet reached #2 at box offices.
Very few details about the arrest, including the insulting remarks made by Siripaiboon are known, presumably due to the strict nature of lèse-majesté laws and fear that those who spoke of or reported the incident would face similar charges.
A story about the arrest written in an international edition of The New York Times was intentionally deleted, replaced with a blank space by printers in Thailand: