Factory Worker Faces 37 Years In Jail For Insulting Thai King’s Dog

The Thai man allegedly made a "sarcastic" comment about the king's dog on social media.

Written by
The king and his dog, pictured in a 2012 holiday card. Via Teagan Daner/Twitter

If you live in the United States, you might want to give the First Amendment of our Constitution a sloppy wet kiss today. Meanwhile, in Thailand, a factory worker is facing 37 years in prison for making a “sarcastic” social media post about the king’s dog.

That’s right, Thanakorn Siripaiboon allegedly said something silly about a dog and he could be spending almost four decades behind bars because of it.

In Thailand, it is against the law to insult any member of the royal family — including the king, the queen or their heirs —  but this appears to be the first time that restriction has been stretched to include four-legged members of the household, according to The New York Times.

“I never imagined they would use the law for the royal dog,” Thanakorn’s attorney Anon Numpa told the Times. “It’s nonsense.”

(It’s not nonsense in Thailand; they take this issue so seriously, that the Thai version of the New York Times even refused to print the story discussing Thanakorn’s case).

King Bhumibol Adulyade adopted the dog, Tongdaeng (also known as Copper), after he saw her in an alleyway. The dog reportedly has become so revered that the Thai media uses the term “khun” when it discusses her, a word that roughly translates to mean “ma’am.” In 2002, King Bhumibol wrote a book about the dog, which sold out within hours of its release. She is also the subject of a just-released animated film, called Khun Tongdaeng: The Inspiration. (We can only imagine how glowing the reviews of the movie are… because they have to be).

King Bhumibol described Thong Daeng as "a common dog who is uncommon" in his book about her. Via K9Aid/Facebook

King Bhumibol described Thong Daeng as “a common dog who is uncommon” in his book about her. Via K9Aid/Facebook

Thanakorn was arrested at his home last week and presumably remains in custody. Exactly what Thanakorn said to insult the dog has not been made public. The authorities have not yet set a date for his indictment, trial or sentencing.

Article Categories: