Thai court rules against labour rights activist Andy Hall in defamation lawsuit over report alleging human rights abuses at Natural Fruit's factory

Author: Kaweewit Kaewjinda, The Washington Post (USA), Published on: 27 March 2018

"Thai court finds British labor activist defamed fruit firm", 26 March 2018

A court in the Thai capital...ordered a British labor rights activist to pay 10 million baht ($321,000) in damages to a company that filed a civil defamation suit after he helped expose alleged human rights violations at its factory.  The ruling against Andy Hall was the latest development involving four defamation suits filed by pineapple canning company Natural Fruit, which employed migrant Myanmar workers who claimed the company had abused them and broke labor regulations.  Hall’s legal troubles stem from a 2013 report he researched for the Finnish consumer organization Finnwatch that alleged labor abuses at Natural Fruit’s facilities.  They also concern an interview that he gave to Al-Jazeera on the subject, which was the focus of Monday’s ruling.  Natural Fruit claimed that the report Hall helped research and his interview comments both hurt their business...“This verdict is a major setback for rights of human rights defenders, migrant workers, labour/migration activists and researchers everywhere and casts a dark shadow over recent positive progress the Thai government and Thai industry has made to improve migrant worker conditions,” Hall commented...

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