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30 Nov 2020

Scoop Media

Thailand: Preliminary hearing of criminal defamation case brought by Thammakaset Company Limited against three women human rights defenders

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"Thailand: Drop Lawsuit By Chicken Company Against Three Women Human Rights Defenders", 23 November 2020.

(BANGKOK, November 23, 2020)—Thai authorities should drop a criminal defamation case brought by Thai chicken company Thammakaset Company Limited against three women human rights defenders, said Fortify Rights today.

Today, the Bangkok South Criminal Court began its preliminary hearing into the combined case against 2019 Magsaysay Award recipient and former Thailand Human Rights Commissioner Angkhana Neelapaijit, Fortify Rights Senior Human Rights Specialist Puttanee Kangkun, and former Fortify Rights Communications Associate Thanaporn Saleephol. The trio face charges for posting human rights-related information on social media...

The case combines a total of four complaints brought by Thammakaset against the three women human rights defenders. It includes a combined total of 28 counts of criminal defamation for 28 postings or re-postings on social media, in which the women expressed support for other human rights defenders facing judicial harassment by the company.

The company alleges that the women’s social media engagements violate articles 326 and 328 of the Thai Criminal Code, which carries sentences of up to two years in prison and fines of up to 200,000 Thai Baht (US$6,400) per count. Angkhana Neelapaijit faces a total of two counts, Puttanee Kangkun faces 21 counts, and Thanaporn Saleephol faces five counts...

The preliminary hearings of the combined cases are currently scheduled to take place on November 23 and 30, 2020 and January 18 and 25, 2021.

Since 2016, Thammakaset has brought at least 37 complaints against 22 human rights defenders. The courts have dismissed or ruled against the company in most of the cases...