A 54-year-old Colorado man was arrested in Thailand and could face up to 15 years in prison for a very serious crime: He insulted the King of Thailand by linking to an unflattering biography of the monarch on his his blog four years ago. From The Straits Times:
The 54-year-old man arrested on Thursday created a link on his blog in 2007 to The King Never Smiles, an unauthorized biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej that is banned in Thailand, a spokesman for the Department of Special Investigation, Thailand's equivalent of the FBI, said on Friday.
The man denies the charge against him. He was born in Thailand and lived in the US state of Colorado for 30 years and returned to Thailand last year for medical treatment.
Meanwhile, the first Google result for King Bhumibol Adulyadej is Wikipedia, which isn't all nice, and also mentions banned books:
American journalist Paul Handley, who spent thirteen years in Thailand, wrote the biography The King Never Smiles. The Information and Communications Ministry banned the book and blocked the book's page on the Yale University Press website in January 2006. In a statement dated 19 January 2006, Thai National Police Chief General Kowit Wattana said the book has "contents which could affect national security and the good morality of the people." The book provides a detailed discussion of Bhumibol's role in Thai political history and also analyzes the factors behind Bhumibol's popularity.
The page also says the king patented "rainmaking" (huh?) and "supersandwich" rainmaking, whatever the fuck that is. That's not very flattering, either! Welcome to the internet, pouty old king. If anything, this should be considered an insult.
[Straits Times; image via Getty]