Defamation laws target human rights reporters - Andy Hall.

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Anchor Moy
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Defamation laws target human rights reporters - Andy Hall.

Post by Anchor Moy » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:02 pm

Yet another example, (after that of Alan Morison and his colleague), of how defamation laws are being used to "contain" information in Thailand. Any reporting of human rights abuses can be countered by the defamation laws.
I'm not sure if the present defamation laws in Cambodia are as draconian as those in place in Thailand, but since they seem to run along the same lines, we may be in for similar law suits against people who file reports that displease the authorities: for example, both journalists and human rights monitors were arrested along with protesters in the Koh Kong protests recently.
Andy Hall's "crime" here was reporting claims by workers that they are being mistreated by Thailand's Natural Fruit Co.; this was part of an investigation for the Finnish NGO Finnwatch.
A British activist who campaigns for better working conditions has gone on trial in Thailand for defamation.

The alleged offence is one of a series of charges relating to a report by a Finnish watchdog group last year which Andy Hall helped to write.

He was charged after a complaint by Thailand's Natural Fruit Company, one of the companies he wrote about.

Mr Hall stands by his report and has told reporters that the charges against him amount to "judicial harassment".

Defamation is a criminal offence in Thailand and Mr Hall could be jailed for a year if found guilty.

But Mr Hall is also facing charges under the computer crime act, which can result in seven years in jail. On top of that the company is seeking $10m (£6m) in a civil suit.

The report he helped to write, for the group Finnwatch, said Natural Fruit Company, the country's largest producer of pineapples, mistreated its workers - a claim the company denies.

Mr Hall told reporters before entering the court: "I don't believe there's any evidence against me to show that what I did was malicious or in some way against the company. I did it for the benefit of the workers."...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29024904" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A previous article on Andy Hall's arrest from the Independent:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/a-m ... 71605.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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