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19 Sep 2017

Axfood, Ethical Trading Initiative & other organizations

Thailand: Axfood & global network Ethical Trading Initiative join 85 others in urging Prime Minister to protect the right of workers to report on abuses

"Criminal Defamation Complaints Brought against Myanmar Migrant Workers and Labor Rights Advocate", 19 Sep 2017

We write to express our deep concern regarding recent criminal defamation charges brought by Thammakaset Company Limited on October 6, 2016, against 14 poultry farm workers from Myanmar who alleged the company seriously violated their rights...We are likewise concerned that Thammakaset Co. Ltd. also filed criminal defamation and computer crimes charges on November 4, 2016 against British labor rights advocate Andy Hall for his commentary on social media concerning the abuse [of] the workers...We, the undersigned organizations, are concerned by the continued use of criminal defamation in Thailand, including the complaints brought by Thammakaset Co. Ltd., which infringes on the right to freedom of expression and obstructs the legitimate work of human rights defenders. We call on the Thai government to decriminalize defamation and immediately take pro-­active steps to protect the rights of these 14 migrant workers, as well as the many other human rights defenders in Thailand who are being targeted with criminal defamation and 2007 Computer Crimes Act (CCA) charges...We are deeply concerned about what appears to be a growing trend of Thai business enterprises using criminal lawsuits to intimidate and obstruct the activism of land and environmental defenders, journalists, workers and labor rights activists, and migrant laborers... [refers to Axfood, Thammakaset Co. Ltd & Ethical Trading Initiative].

Fortify Rights has provided a Thai translation of the letter, available here.