Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai court throws out case of trafficked men

Thai court throws out case of trafficked men

Migrant workers sort fish on a Thai fishing boat. An appeal of the case filed by Cambodian workers alleging they suffered abuse from their Thai employers was denied this week.
Migrant workers sort fish on a Thai fishing boat. An appeal of the case filed by Cambodian workers alleging they suffered abuse from their Thai employers was denied this week. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

Thai court throws out case of trafficked men

An appeal by 11 Cambodian fishermen allegedly trafficked and enslaved on fishing boats in Thailand before their rescue last year was dismissed Thursday by a Thai court.

A previous decision this year found that the 11 Cambodian plaintiffs could not prove they had been forced into work and held against their will.

The Appeal Court Region 8’s decision to reject the appeal was issued at the end of October but read to the public last Thursday, according to Nishkhan Usayapant, case manager of Human Rights and Development Foundation’s Anti-Trafficking Project.

“The circumstances presented were not enough to establish that the workers were threatened or forced to work on boats against their will,” the court argued, according to Usayapant. “The victims testified that the captain angrily splashed water at them while on the boat. The captain also knocked the boat with an axe, an act the victims feel threatened by.”

She said these two bits of testimony were part of the appeal as they had not been considered by the court of first instance. The appeal court ruled, however, that it was a “warning” or “disciplinary punishment” and not proof of intimidation, she said.

A case against boat owner Kamneungnuan Wongkajornkitti remains in the evidence gathering stage, Usayapant said. “The relevant government agencies are in discussion on how to collect witness testimony from the victims who have returned to Cambodia.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy

  • Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. The

  • Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

    The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9. The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue

  • Rainsy blocked from boarding flight to Jakarta

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The "acting president" of the Cambodia National Rescue Party's announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy arrived in Kuala

  • Tour guides question animal release ban in Angkor moat

    The Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association (Katga) called on the Apsara National Authority to reconsider its decision banning all animals from being released into the moat surrounding the Angkor Wat temple after the authority prohibited the action for the sake of visitors’ safety. An Apsara

  • Kingdom to import 200MW from Lao hydropower plant

    Cambodia plans to import 200MW of electricity from Laos’ Don Sahong hydropower plant early next year to curb power shortages this coming dry season, with the transmission line network scheduled for completion later this year, Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Victor Jona said. Jona,