Nine arrested in Thailand for publishing news about election irregularities

Governments everywhere control the ballot box and seek to control what is said about elections and politics.

In the U.S., government officials get to hold free public press conferences daily during election season while subjecting challengers to police scrutiny under the guise of campaign finance regulations.

Recently, in Thailand, nine people were arrested for sharing news on Facebook claiming two election commissioners had been sacked and that 600,000 illegitimate ballots were mixed into the vote count.

They were charged “for sharing or onpassing false information”, said Siriwat Deephor, a spokesman for the Computer Crime Suppression Division Police. The accused face up to five years in jail and a $3,100 fine.

The recent Thai election was very close and contentious, and now both candidates for Thailand President are claiming victory. (But the challenger doesn’t get to arrest people who spread the incumbent’s messages.) See here.