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10 Million Baht Defamation Judgment Upheld Against Andy Hall

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Anti-Slavery Activists

An appeals court in Thailand has upheld a defamation judgement against British activist Andy Hall, ordering him to pay 10 million baht ($313,000) in damages to Natural Fruit Co. Ltd., a Thai pineapple company.

Hall was sued by Natural Fruit following his research for a 2013 report by Finnish consumer organization Finnwatch. In it, migrant workers from Myanmar allege that Natural Fruit abused them and broke labor laws.

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“I will liaise with my legal defense team to appeal the ruling to Thailand’s Supreme Court. Whilst I respect today’s ruling, I am disappointed by the verdict,” said Hall.

AP reports:

Hall’s lawyer, Nakhon Chomphuchat, described the suit as “a normal action for capitalists who do not care for human rights. They only think that if the law doesn’t clearly say that they had violated rights, then they shouldn’t be branded or accused of doing that.”

He cautioned that fees to file an appeal with the Supreme Court might be prohibitively high.

Phone calls to Natural Fruit for comment went unanswered.

Hall has been embroiled in a similar long-running battle with a Thai poultry farm, Thammakaset Co., which has filed 15 lawsuits against the British activist, other workers’ advocates, a journalist and several former workers. Much of that litigation is ongoing, though the workers’ side has won some important cases favoring whistle-blowers. The company said it had suffered losses due to allegations made by the workers in a 2016 complaint filed with Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission.

Finnwatch said it was “shocked” at the court ruling, especially because last year an appeals court determined that the findings in the report Hall did were well-founded.

Surya Deva, chair of the U.N. Working Group on Business and Human Rights, warned that this case goes against UN principles.

“These continuous legal proceedings pursued by Natural Fruit are not in line with the Guiding Principles, as they are having a chilling effect on the legitimate role of civil society organizations in holding businesses accountability for human rights abuses,” he said.

“The Thai government also has an obligation to ensure that its legal framework is not misused by companies to harass civil society and human rights defenders, who have a critical role in promoting human rights.”

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john
john

what a shame ! where is there justice in thailand?????? the world is watching how thailand descends into a pit of shit. tourists must avoid thailand to make it clear that we do not agree with its justice and human rights. we must also stop importing and consuming thai products. will the king intervene to put some sense and STOP the corruption???

Neville Bruce
Neville Bruce

I don’t want to buy from these people anymore: could you give me a list of their products, or put it in the main article for others who don’t, please?
Thank you, and thank Andy and his teams.

Maire Lawless
Maire Lawless

Thank-you Andy for all of this work and the stress involved. Only by continually pursuing companies who abuse human rights will justice eventually be achieved and by holding countries to account by challenging them with the principles upheld by the UN. Gradually and with persistence things are changing and will continue to do so.

Rosetta
Rosetta

When the law was written bad people were allowed to have their say.
That’s why there has been little to no Justice in this world.
And until the judges don’t see it or are too blinded by bribes, good people will go down if they don’t have the backup to help them

Marie
Marie

Especially if you are Rich running half these Companies Companies like Nk,i Addidas to name a few p say their workers who are local $30 a mth & I try protesting wanting a pay rise these Companies just Poack & move somewhere else I mean you pay a few hundred dollars for 1 PAIR but they only cost about $5 to make. These ar e US & probably Aussie Companies too..

Rosetta
Rosetta

Bad people should be the ones to go to jail and pay fines, not those that expose their beast like behavior!
But apparently when the law was written, bad people had their say more than the good ones.