Update: Thai employers delay legal case against rights activist
I blogged in April about the case of Andy Hall, a British labour rights activist who is being sued for criminal defamation by the Natural Fruit Company of Thailand over a report he helped Finnwatch (who, strangely, the company is not suing) to write, revealing serious human rights abuses in the company’s pineapple operation, including child labour. The penalties, if he is convicted, would be draconian – a huge fine and a possible prison sentence. But, as is so common in cases where employers or governments use legal threats to silence legitimate criticism, the case keeps being postponed because the employer has failed to produce its evidence, still less provide a statement of their case to Andy and his lawyers so that they can prepare their defence. The latest delay is until 8 July!
If you find this attempt to silence criticism as outrageous as I do, please join nearly 9,000 trade unionists worldwide and take a moment to let the Thai employers and authorities know that we don’t like the way Thailand’s courts are being abused by a bad employer. We’re seeking publicity for Andy’s case, and are pressing the UK Government to raise the issue formally with the Thai Government, as well as working with global unions and the ILO.