“This is about persecution. It’s a political case to try and silence me… I’m someone that’s revealing things that the government and the industry don’t want me to reveal.” – Andy Hall1
Human rights activist Andy Hall has been convicted in the Thai courts for reporting on labor rights abuses in the Thai pineapple industry. In 2013, a report which included some of Andy’s research was published. it 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. After a bitter legal fight, Andy was found guilty and sentenced to a three year suspended sentence and a fine of 150,000 Baht.
We now need to call on the Thai Government to do the right thing and ensure that all remaining charges against Andy Hall are dropped.
The Thai authorities are already facing global scrutiny for not doing enough to protect workers from abuse – the latest US Trafficking in Persons report gives Thailand the lowest score for action to tackle trafficking.2
Please show your support for Andy and migrant workers that remain vulnerable to modern slavery in Thailand: take action to demand that the remaining charges are dropped now.
March 2018: On Monday March 26, Andy Hall was ordered by a Thai court to pay 10 million Thai baht (USD 321,000) in damages to Natural Fruit in a defamation case brought against him that began in 2014. On top of the damages, the Court ordered Andy pay an additional 10,000 Thai baht (USD 321) for the plaintiff’s lawyer. Click here to help Andy appeal his sentence.
31 May 2017: Lawyers representing Andy Hall filed criminal litigation against Thai state prosecutors, the police and Natural Fruit in regards to the defamation case brought against Andy in 2013. Andy said, “It is necessary now to launch these litigations as I must defend myself against an unlawful prosecution and judicial harassment waged against me that continues unabated.” Click here to find out more.
10 December 2016: A coalition of 110 sent an open letter to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presenting the conviction of Andy Hall as a dangerous precedent that would make it more difficult for migrant workers to ensure their rights are respected.
06 November 2016: Thammakaset Chicken Farm, using Natural Fruit’s legal team, launched new prosecutions against Andy for his role alongside MWRN in campaigning for justice for the 14 migrant workers who escaped exploitation from the farm. Andy has now left Thailand, but his lawyers will continue to fight this case.
03 November 2016: Thai Court dismisses the Attorney General and Natural Fruit’s criminal defamation case against Andy Hall for his participation in an Aljazeera interview, after almost four years of court cases. However he still faces a three-year suspended sentence and fine having been found guilty in a separate case of ‘computer crimes’ and ‘criminal defamation’ on 20 September 2016.