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Human Rights Watch joins calls to drop Andy Hall case

"Thailand: End Case Against Migrant Worker Activist", 19 July 2015

Thai authorities should drop charges against a prominent migrant worker rights activist...The charges violate the free expression rights of the activist, Andy Hall, and undermine his research into labor rights abuses by companies in Thailand...“This prosecution is all about gagging Andy Hall to deter serious reporting about alleged abuses against migrant workers, and about intimidating others who might look closely at Thailand’s corporate supply chains...The government should recognize that freedom to investigate corporate abuses is critical to ensuring compliance and accountability under Thai law and international human rights standards.”..Human Rights Watch believes that criminal defamation laws should be abolished, as criminal penalties are always disproportionate punishments for reputational harm and infringe on free expression. Criminal defamation laws are open to easy abuse, resulting in very harsh consequences, including imprisonment. As repeal of criminal defamation laws in an increasing number of countries has shown, such laws are not necessary to protect reputations.

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