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22 May 2019

Finnwatch (Finland)

Thailand: Appeals Court upholds lower court's verdict, ordering migrant rights' defender Andy Hall to pay 10 million baht to Natural Fruit

"Appeals Court orders Andy Hall to pay 10 million baht in damages to Natural Fruit", 22 May 2019

The Prakanong Court in Bangkok, Thailand today read an Appeals Court’s verdict on Andy Hall’s appeal against a 2018 10 million baht (approx. 281 000 euros) civil defamation conviction, maintaining the lower court’s...conviction... In March 2018,...Andy Hall [was ordered] to pay 10 million baht in damages to a Thai pineapple company, Natural Fruit Co Ltd... "We are shocked by today’s verdict. An Appeals Court already last year found that the findings in the Finnwatch report Cheap Has a High Price were well-founded. Now another Appeals Court has found Andy Hall guilty of civil defamation because he spoke about those findings to Al Jazeera. This makes no sense, said Sonja Vartiala, executive director of Finnwatch.  Hall has not been a resident in Thailand since he left the country in 2016..., citing intolerable judicial harassment. "Whilst I respect today’s ruling, I am disappointed...My activism for over a decade in Thailand intended only to promote and uphold the fundamental rights of millions of migrant workers... My work has never intended to damage the reputation or legitimate business interests of Thai companies, nor has it been malicious. I remain open to reconciliation to put an end...to this continued and irrational cycle of litigation", said Andy Hall.

Part of the following timelines

Natural Fruit Company lawsuits (re defamation suits against Andy Hall, Thailand)

Thai Court orders defender Andy Hall's payment of 10 million baht in damages to Natural Fruit co.; companies & business associations express concern