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

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group