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11 Mar 2019

Fortify Righgts

Thailand: Criminal Court confirms criminal defamation charges filed by Thammakaset against human rights defender Nan Win

"Thailand: End Judicial Harassment of Human Rights Defenders Nan Win and Sutharee Wannasiri," 12 March 2019

On March 8, the Bangkok Criminal Court confirmed criminal defamation charges against Nan Win, a former employee at a Thammakaset-owned chicken farm in Lopburi Province who reported labor rights violations at the farm. The court scheduled his criminal trial to start on May 24.  The court is expected to decide whether to proceed with a separate criminal case against Suthareee Wannasiri on March 25.

...Thailand’s Supreme Court will also consider an appeal filed by Thammakaset challenging an order to pay 1.7 million Thai Baht (US$51,470) in compensation to 14 former Thammakaset employees for labor rights violations. In January, the Supreme Court rejected a separate appeal by Thammakaset challenging the compensation order.

The cases against Nan Win and Sutharee Wannasiri stem from complaints originally filed by Thammakaset in October 2018 and relate to their activities to bring attention to reprisals, including judicial harassment, against human rights defenders involved in exposing labor rights violations committed by Thammakaset.

Nan Win is one of the 14 migrant workers from Myanmar previously charged with criminal defamation by Thammakaset for reporting labor rights violations to Thai authorities.  Nan Win now faces up to four years in prison and up to 400,000 Thai Baht (US$12,100) in fines...

Sutharee Wannasiri...faces up to six years in prison and up to 600,000 Thai Baht (US$18,150) in fines for alleged violations under sections 326 and 328 of the Thailand Criminal Code as well as civil defamation charges for circulating the Fortify Rights film on social media.

...Lopburi Province Department of Labor Protection and Welfare (DLPW) and the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand both found evidence of labor rights abuses in the Thammakaset farm...DPLW ordered Thammakaset to pay 1.7 million Thai Baht (US$51,470) in compensation to the 14 former employees for violations of Thailand’s Labor Protection Act. Until today, the former employees have yet to receive compensation.