6 thoughts on “Seven years in Thai dictatorship’s prison for helping slave workers?

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  3. Wednesday 21st September 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    by Our Foreign Desk

    A BRITISH labour campaigner received a suspended sentence and fine yesterday for defaming a fruit firm that he accused of enslaving workers.

    The Bangkok South Criminal Court found Andy Hall guilty of criminal defamation against Natural Fruit Company in connection with a 2013 report that he researched for Finnish corporate responsibility campaign group Finnwatch.

    The report alleged the Thai pineapple-canning factory enslaved and abused migrant workers from neighbouring Cambodia and Myanmar.

    He was also found guilty of violating the Computer Crimes Act because the report was posted on the internet.

    Mr Hall was given a three-year suspended sentence and a 150,000 baht (£3,300) fine, which he paid immediately to secure his release.

    The sentence was reduced from four years and 200,000 baht (£4,400) in the recognition of his co-operation with the proceedings and absence of any previous criminal convictions.

    Two civil lawsuits by the company against him are pending, as is an appeal against his acquittal on an earlier criminal defamation charge.

    “I don’t feel any shame, I don’t feel any regret, but I feel it is an injustice, what’s happened here today,” Mr Hall told reporters.

    “I respect the decision of the court, but I feel real injustice, not for me. It was never about Andy Hall doing research about migrant workers. It was about a human rights activist doing research for the public interest.”

    Finnwatch executive director Sonja Vartiala said her organisation was “shocked by today’s verdict.”

    She added: “The report was authored and published by Finnwatch. We take full responsibility for it.

    “Andy has been made a scapegoat in order to stifle other voices that speak out legitimately in support of migrant worker rights.”

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-74e4-British-activist-guilty-of-defamation-over-fruit-firms-slavery#.V-KjWsmXEdU

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