Puttanee Kangkun - Fortify Rights
Ms. Puttanee Kangkun, a Senior Human Rights Specialist with the NGO Fortify Rights, published 14 social media posts (three tweets, nine retweets, and two Facebook posts) between January 25 and September 17, 2019, expressing support to fellow human rights defenders - including Ms. Sutharee Wannasiri, Mr. Nan Win, and Ms. Ngamsuk Ruttanasatian - involved in criminal and civil defamation cases regarding labour rights abuses committed by the Thai poultry company Thammakaset Co., Ltd. On December 6, 2019, Thammakaset filed a criminal complaint for “defamation” (Article 326 of the Thai Criminal Code) and “libel” (Article 328) with the Bangkok Southern Criminal Court against Ms. Puttanee Kangkun over her 14 social media posts. If prosecuted and convicted under these charges, Ms. Puttanee Kangkun could face up to 28 years in prison and a fine of up to 2.8 million Thai Baht (approximately 81,500 Euros). A preliminary hearing was held on March 2, 2020. The court adjourned it to June 8, 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
On 14 March 2023, the Bangkok South Criminal Court began the trial that involves 28 counts of alleged criminal defamation under Thailand’s Criminal Code sections 326 and 328. The charges stem from posts or re-posts on social media by Angkhana Neelapaijit, Puttanee Kangkun, and Thanaporn Saleephol expressing solidarity with other human rights defenders already facing lawsuits brought by Thammakaset for alleging labour rights abuses at the company’s chicken farm in Lopburi Province. The company has filed at least 37 civil and criminal cases against rights defenders, journalists, and workers since 2016. In August 2023, the Bangkok South Criminal Court found Angkhana Neelapaijit, Puttanee Kangkun and Thanaporn Saleephol not guilty of criminally defaming Thammakaset Company Ltd.