“The situation of migrant rights in Thailand continues to be deplorable... The case is unjust and unfair and I’m fighting it for myself and also for Thai campaigners who face the same sort of legal harassment.” (Andy Hall, following his court hearing)1
On Monday, British activist Andy Hall was indicted for criminal defamation and computer crime in a case brought about by Thai pineapple company Natural Fruit. This follows two years of persecution, after Natural Fruit took the decision to target Andy for researching alleged labour abuses at one of their factories rather than investigate the claims.
We’re horrified by this decision, which not only violates Andy’s right to free expression but also undermines wider research into labour rights abuses in Thailand and the work of other activists.
We’re doing everything in our power to try to help him: last week, the Walk Free community sent over 300,000 emails to the Thai government, urging the authorities to do everything they can to get these charges dropped. We also delivered over 180,000 signatures calling for Andy’s release to Thai officials in Thailand and the UK.
In just a few weeks Andy will have to return to court where he will be charged and possibly detained pending bail. Will you join the international outcry in support of Andy and send a message to challenge this injustice?
Zoe, Jamison, Jayde, Leena and the whole Walk Free team
P.S. If found guilty, Andy faces 7 years in jail and charges of $11 million. Sonja Vartiala, executive director of Finnwatch, the organisation that released the report Andy provided the research for, has warned that, “At this point, the prospects for Andy Hall to receive a fair trial are looking grim.”2 Take action to demand that these charges are dropped NOW.
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