Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thailand finds labour rights activist guilty

Thailand finds labour rights activist guilty

British labour activist Andy Hall speaks to the media as he arrives at the Bangkok South Criminal Court in Bangkok yesterday. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP
British labour activist Andy Hall speaks to the media as he arrives at the Bangkok South Criminal Court in Bangkok yesterday. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

Thailand finds labour rights activist guilty

British labour activist Andy Hall, who has long highlighted abuse of workers in Thailand, often Cambodian migrants, was found guilty by a Bangkok court yesterday of defamation and breaching cyber crime laws in relation to a 2013 report he authored.

Hall was sued by Thai firm Natural Fruit after the report, published by Finnish civil rights group Finnwatch, outlined allegations of serious human rights violations at the pineapple-processing company.

The Bangkok South Criminal Court handed Hall a suspended three-year sentence though the activist remained in custody pending payment of a 150,000 baht ($4,300) fine.

While the section on Natural Fruit did not list any Cambodians at the factory, two other firms in the report – Thai Union Manufacturing and Unicord Public Company Limited – had employed Cambodian workers and were slammed for low wages, confiscating work permits and harassing migrant workers.

Reacting to the conviction, Finnwatch’s executive director Sonja Vartiala said that Hall had been made a “scapegoat” for speaking out in support of migrant worker rights.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen asks Cambodians to believe in government

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday asked citizens and investors to trust that the government will overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the loss of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Speaking to reporters at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh,

  • Westerdam passenger ‘never had’ Covid-19

    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the US citizen that allegedly tested positive in Malaysia after travelling on the Westerdam was never infected with Covid-19 in the first place. In an article published in the newspaper USA Today on Friday, CDC

  • ‘Ghost staff’ found, $1.7M returned to state coffers

    The Ministry of Civil Service said more than seven billion riel ($1.7 million) in salaries for civil servants was returned to the state last year after it discovered that the books had been cooked to pay ‘ghost officials’. This is despite claims by the Ministry of

  • Woman wanted for killing own son

    Police in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district are on the lookout for a woman who allegedly hacked her son to death on Sunday in Stung Meanchey III commune. District police chief Meng Vimeandara identified the son as Chan Sokhom, 32. “The offender can’t escape forever.

  • H5N1 also poses deadly threat, ministry warns

    The Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control (CDC) department has called on citizens to excise caution over H5N1 or bird flu that is spreading in the southern province of Vietnam. In a Facebook post, the department announced that it has made a series

  • Malaysia in turmoil

    Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has done it again. At the centre of two days of high drama and political manoeuvring, he has, wittingly or not, contributed to shaking Malaysia, and further causing its equities market to fall nearly three per cent. The drama