Not every country in the world allows its citizens to be critical of the government. In Thailand, it is a crime to insult the monarchy. These strict laws have been broadened in recent years, and one scholar was even accused of insulting a king who’s been dead for 400 years. So far, the laws have been used to charge anyone who’s defamed a king, queen, heir, or regent, but now the government is adding another to that list: the king’s dog.
A man in Thailand faces charges after making a sarcastic comment on the Internet about the king’s dog, Tongdaeng, which translates to “Copper”. He could spend up to 37 years in prison. The pup is a beloved fixture in Thailand, and the king even wrote a book about her in 2002 after rescuing the dog from an alley. The king says that she is a respectful and humble dog who knows protocol and always sits lower than the king.
The Thai military took control of the government last year in a coup, and it seems they will stop at nothing to keep citizens from being critical of the ruling power. They regularly bring citizens to attitude adjustment sessions at military camps. I’m no fan of hurling insults at defenseless pups, but this certainly seems to cross the line of human rights violations. If you live in a country that allows for freedom of speech, never take it for granted.
What do you think of this? Does it make you appreciate your own freedom of speech? Let us know in the comments below.