Human rights in Thailand: Andy Hall's legal battle to defend migrant workers
22 Jan 2016
...Hall’s case brings into focus larger issues for human rights defenders in Thailand and south-east Asia. He believes it is a way to silence him and incite fear in other activists. “It makes people, especially Thai people, fear speaking out,” Hall says. “I’ve got white skin, I’ve got embassies, I’ve got media support, but they’re still doing it to me. How would your average activist ever dare to speak up?”
This sentiment has been echoed by global human rights organisations. Bobbie Sta. Maria, the south-east Asia researcher and representative at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, says it could lead to “self-censorship to avoid unnecessary prosecution like this, which is a valid reaction”.
Phil Robertson, Asia deputy director of Human Rights Watch, agrees: “There is certainly a chilling effect on people doing research in the supply chains in Thailand, and I think that affects not only foreigners, but Thai NGOs as well.”…