Thailand Investigating US Ambassador for Defaming King

US Ambassador
image: Wikimedia Commons

When I visited Thailand, I read and was told about a law which could get you into big trouble.

You never speak negatively about the country’s king or his family…

According to Mashable, “Thai authorities are investigating US Ambassador to Thailand Glyn Davies for allegedly defaming the country’s king, or “lèse-majesté” as the major offense is known in the country“.

This is no joke as “insulting the king, queen, heir or regent can face up to 15 years in jail“, according to the article.

Ambassador Davies supposedly badmouthed the king last month during a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. Mashable mentions how Davies actually praised the king but then spoke against the lèse-majesté law, mentioning concerns for sentences of those convicted of it.

Davies said how the US was concerned about the length of prison sentences handed down in military courts in the cases and felt that people shouldn’t go to jail for sharing their thoughts.

Lucky for Davies, even if he faced charges, diplomatic immunity protects him although his diplomatic credentials could be take away.

The funniest part of the story is that Davies spent last weekend at the palace to celebrate the 88th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

I guess the king didn’t take much offense to the speech from the US Ambassador since he was invited to celebrate the king’s birthday!

Find out more from Mashable here.

3 thoughts on “Thailand Investigating US Ambassador for Defaming King

  1. The Thai king himself has spoken out against the sentences for violating Lese Majeste laws.

    The current military junta applies those laws very liberally to anybody who speaks out against the government. The political trump card in Thailand is to accuse your adversaries of insulting the royal family. Any time you want a good laugh, look at the exponentially-increased use of this law in Thailand, pre- and post-2006.

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