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28 Nov 2018


Thailand: Thammakaset files defamation charges vs. human rights advocates supporting chicken farm workers

"Thai activist sued for defamation as poulty firm vows more cases," 28 November 2018

A defamation case by a Thai poultry farm against an activist who tweeted allegations of labour abuse should be dropped, a rights group urged...as the complainant vowed further action against "so-called human rights defenders".

A chicken farm owned by the Thammakaset company in Lopburi province has been at the centre of disputes by Myanmar workers about grueling days, lack of overtime and confiscated documents.

It has hit back with multiple defamation suits, a criminal offence in Thailand, but has yet to win.

Still the company has filed fresh defamation charges against one of the former workers named Nan Win and prominent Thai activist Sutharee Wannasiri, who had shared on social media a 107-second video about the case produced by NGO Fortify Rights.

Fortify, where Sutharee worked at the time, urged the company and authorities to drop the complaint, which will reach court on Dec 3.

"These complaints are a form of judicial harassment and should be dropped immediately," said Amy Smith of Fortify.

The International Federation for Human Rights also condemned the lawsuit.

But Thammakaset owner Chanchai Pheamphon said he was forced to bring the suits to defend the name of his company from false allegations.

"For the past two years, everyone blamed me but they never did a proper investigation," he said, denying accusations of confiscating passports and making workers endure herculean shifts of more than 20 hours.

"From now on, you will see that more lawsuits will be filed against a series of so-called human rights defenders in Thailand who to me are actually (rights) violators," he warned, adding that attempts at negotiation had failed.


Note: The story on the cases filed against the chicken farm workers can be viewed here.