Thailand: Rights defender Andy Hall goes on trial for criminal defamation & computer crimes
The trial for criminal defamation and computer crimes to be heard starting 19 May 2016 is the most serious among a series of criminal and civil cases brought by Natural Fruit against researcher and activist Andy Hall. They carry a maximum combined penalty of seven years imprisonment in addition to potential fines.
A related criminal defamation case over an interview that Hall gave on Al Jazeera had been dismissed earlier by the Prakanong Court and the Appeals Court, and is presently under appeal with the Supreme Court. A number of related civil cases are also pending.
Related stories are available here:
Thai court indicts Andy Hall despite NGOs calls to drop charges brought by Natural Fruit; buyers approached: https://business-humanrights.org/en/thai-court-indicts-andy-hall-despite...
Thailand: Public support for activist Andy Hall grows; trial for case filed by Natural Fruit begins 2 Sept.: https://business-humanrights.org/en/thailand-public-support-for-activist...
Reports and statements on lawsuits filed by Natural Fruit against researcher and activist Andy Hall for alleged defamation: https://business-humanrights.org/en/reports-and-statements-on-lawsuits-f...
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Trial on criminal defamation and computer crimes charges against British migrants rights activist Andy Hall commences 19 May in Bangkok
12 May 2016
On 19th May 2016 at Southern Bangkok Criminal Court, British migrant rights defender Andy Hall goes on trial facing criminal defamation and computer crimes charges. Over three years since an original criminal prosecution was filed against Hall, the first three days of this criminal trial in May will hear testimony of prosecution witnesses. Defense witness testimony will be over eight days in June and July.
This criminal case with multiple charges filed is the most serious of all four cases brought by a Prachuap Khiri Khan province based pineapple processing company Natural Fruit Company Ltd. against Andy Hall. The charges were brought following publication of a Finnwatch report Cheap
Has a High Price in January 2013. Whilst this case was the first and most serious to be filed against Hall back in February 2013, it is the second case to actually reach a full criminal trial in Thailand’s courts. The criminal charges in this case carry a maximum combined penalty of seven years imprisonment in addition to potential fines…
The report Cheap Has a High Price alleged labour rights violations at Natural Fruit’s processing plant in Southern Thailand as reported from interviews with migrant workers from Myanmar…
12 May 2016
…What are all the prosecutions about?
…What is the current state of play with the four cases brought by Natural Fruit against Andy Hall?
…What would follow if Hall was found guilty of the charges against him?
…Will Andy Hall have a fair trial in Thailand?...
Author: Walk Free
Human rights activist Andy Hall will soon find out if he faces time in prison for reporting on labour rights abuses in the Thai pineapple industry. In 2013 a report including some of his research was published which included allegations of worker abuse and slavery-like practices in the Natural Fruit factory, a Thai company that processes pineapples and supplies retailers around the world.
Instead of looking into the allegations, Natural Fruit targeted Andy. He was hauled into court on charges of computer crime and criminal defamation.
Despite an international outcry, Natural Fruit have not backed down.2 We now need to call on the Thai government to do the right thing and ensure that all charges against Andy Hall are dropped…